Rome High track and field coach Nick Bridges watches a group warm up for a heat in the boys' 100-meter dash at the Region 7-5A championships Thursday, April 19, 2018, at Barron Stadium. (Jeremy Stewart/RN-T.com)

The teams began the season Saturday with wins in the RMA Indoor Winter Challenge in Gainesville, beating out 25 other teams, and setting several school indoor records along the way. The girls’ team broke eight indoor records, while the boys’ team set nine.

“We have unbelievably athletic kids, and they’re hungry to be champions,” Bridges said. “It’s going to be on us to mess it up. We’re going to work like crazy like we always have. We’re just going to continue to get better, and I really think we have a chance to be a good team.”

Rome had first-place finishes in six different events with the boys’ relay teams sweeping the 4x200 and 4x400 and setting school records in the process. The team of Cheneniah McKeever, Marquis Glanton, Xavier Roberts-Donaldson and Montrell Millsap won the 200-meter with a time of 1:39.69, while the 400-meter was won by Knox Kadum, Jokobe Hamilton, Williams and Millsap with a time of 3:49.21.

For the girls Ja’Taria Jackson took first in the girls’ 200-meter dash with a time of 27.8, Makaela Wofford won the 55-meter hurdles in 9.58 while setting a Rome High record, and Shardae Evans won the long jump with a distance of 14-03. Hamilton took first in the boys’ high jump with a 6-04.

Another standout for the boys was Patrick Motes who broke the Rome High record in the 3000-meter run by more than 43 seconds, finishing in 9:49.61 for a fourth-place finish.

“I’m just blown away with those kids,” Bridges said. “Those are good times for early in the season, and we’re not even full-go yet. We’re still missing kids with basketball and wrestling going on.”

Following an instrasquad meet at home on Feb. 21, the next meet for the Wolves will be the Purple Hurricane Invitational in Cartersville on Feb. 23. Rome’s first home meet will be the Rome Invitational on March 2.