Gordon Lee Trojans

The Montgomery County Lady Eagles scored points in six events on Saturday, including three wins and one runner-up finish, to finish the Class A Public School girls' state track meet with 92 points and a 38-point cushion over their next closest competitor.

However, they still had to settle for the state runner-up trophy because the Gordon Lee Lady Trojans refused to bring home anything less than a state title.

For the third time since 2014, and for the second time in a row, the Lady Trojans were crowned girls' state track champions in the classification. Gordon Lee finished with 102 points, 10 ahead of Montgomery County's 92, while Greene County (54), Commerce (41) and Georgia Military College Prep (35) rounded out the top five spots.

With the finals in the last eight events being held on Saturday in Albany, the Lady Trojans entered the day with a 76-43 advantage over the Lady Eagles. However, Montgomery County would begin the day's action at Hugh Mills Stadium with a win in the 4x100, a second-place and a sixth-place finish in the 400, and a fifth-place showing in the 100.

Those finishes were worth 25 total points, which briefly slashed Gordon Lee's lead down to eight (76-68) going into the 100 hurdles.

But the Lady Eagles did not have a finalist in the event to challenge Gordon Lee's Addison Sturdivant, who dominated the race in 15.69 seconds to win the individual title, her second all-time state title in that specific event, and added 10 more points to the Lady Trojans' tally.

Neither school had a finalist in the 800 and the Lady Eagles picked up four additional team points with a fifth-place finish in the 200 as they closed to within 14 points of lead (86-72) with just two events remaining.

Montgomery County had the fastest qualifying times in both remaining events, the 300 hurdles and the 4x400. However, Gordon Lee qualified second-fastest in both events and things would not change in the finals.

Marley Bell collected 10 points for the Lady Eagles as she ran a 44.63 to win the 300 hurdles, but Sturdivant clocked in at 45.37 to finish second and pick up eight points for the Lady Trojans, giving them an insurmountable 12-point cushion (94-82) going into the final event.

Once again, Montgomery County and Gordon Lee turned in a 1-2 finish. The Lady Eagles won the final relay race in a time of 4:19.84, but the Lady Trojans' team of Sturdivant, Kaylee Brown, Ansley Dendy and Maclain Chrnalogar clocked a school-record 4:20.84 to close out their state title.

"We knew we were going to be a little short (at state) with (distance specialist) Gracie (O'Neal) having graduated and we lost some other scorers," Gordon Lee head coach Dan Roberts said. "But we also knew we had a chance to refuel with some of these younger girls and, of course, we still had those two seniors (Brown and Sturdivant), who were the main core of the whole deal and they were great leaders this weekend. They got everything they could out of the rest of the them, which was good to see.

"We set a few new school records and we had PR's (personal records) everywhere. It was just a great weekend."

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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