Cedartown track has had a very impressive start to its 2021 campaign. The boys and girls squads have been in action recently and each have put together strong performances against top competition.
The Lady Bulldogs, who are coached by second-year head coach Joe Colquitt, have competed in two events: a meet at Rome High School on March 11, and a March 18 meet at Darlington. At both events, several Cedartown athletes stood out.
At Rome, Qiana Watson won both the 100- and 200-meter races and finished second in the triple jump. The senior followed that up by finishing first in all three events, plus the high jump, at the next week’s meet at Darlington.
Makayla Jordan won the long jump and came in second in the 100-meter dash at Rome before winning the 400-meter race and finishing just behind Watson in the 100 meters at Darlington. Colquitt also mentioned Zoe Diamond Pasley (discus), Ansley Dulaney (shot put), Gracie Parks (hurdles, 200- and 400-meters), and Lezlie Bates (hurdles) as other Lady Bulldogs who have stood out early in this season.
Colquitt has not been surprised by his team’s hot start.
“We had a very talented group of senior girls last year who were on their way to leading our team to a great season, but our season ended after just one meet,” Colquitt said.
“With the way last year ended, the thing I am most excited about is to just be out there again. It’s exciting that the majority of our participants are underclassmen with a couple of key athletes who are near the top of the region in their events.”
Other members of the girls squad are senior Kearston Winston, juniors Kimberly Otero and Heather Perez, sophomores Jayda Bullard, McKenzie Butler, Zeria Darden, Mariah Hayes, Bella Owens, Gracie Parks, and Yessica Perez, and freshmen Maddison Davis, Dayannara Lopez, Blanche McCluskey, Braci Myrick, Jayda Nicolason, and Nevaen Blyden.
Like their female counterparts, the Bulldogs have had solid showings in their limited outings. Donald Knight (100-meter and high jump), Khamarion Davis (200-meter), Parker Bentley (400-meter), Dalton Benefield (3200-meter), Micah Arburthnot (triple jump), Demario Sims (discus), and Patrick Gardner (shot put) won their respective events at Darlington.
Each of those athletes performed well at Rome too, as Knight (100-meter, high jump, and long jump), Arbuthnot (200-meter), and Uriel Guzman (800-meter) finished first in their categories. Furthermore, Cedartown’s boys relay team swept the 4x100, 4x400, and 4x800 events on March 18.
The Bulldogs are coached by veteran head coach Mike Worthington.
Other members of the boys squad include seniors Braxton Ramos and Will Statham, juniors Malik Blyden, Billy Darden, Jaquon Darden, Jordan Johnson, Elias Perez, Brandon Ramos, Sabastion Sequra, Jaylon Stephenson and CJ Washington, sophomores Ulises Alonso, Britt Baxter, Caden Baxter, Bailey Benefield, Grant Dempsey, Dustin Green, Xavier Hargrove, Carlos Jones, Hermene Juarez, Austin Morgan, Payton Nikolopoulus, Logan Penny, Jose Perez, Leo Segura, Hunter Shell, Zac Tillery, Noah Turpin, Dante Walker, Logan Walters, Deshaun Ware, Phillip White, and Isaiah Wilkinson, and freshmen Jamison Barclay, Waylon Bevins, Brodie Blackmon, Travis Blankenship, Marcus Blankenship, Edgar Casamenia, Quan Dorsey, Mikey Esquivel, Malik Fredrick, Knox James, Drew Ledbetter, Ajani Logan, Demarion Martin, Drew McClain, Reonte Parker, Jamius Sullivan, Daniel Sun, and Cade Wheeler.
Mike Benefield assists with the throwers on both squads, while cross country head coach Richard Short coaches the long-distance runners.
One detail that has every coach excited for the future is the focus being placed on the Cedartown Middle School feeder program. CHS football head coach Jamie Abrams is overseeing the middle school track program this spring along with assistants Zach Valentine and Kay Allen.
“It is great to see so many young, talented CMS athletes come out to track this year,” Colquitt said. “I’m not sure the exact number, but there are over 110 seventh and eighth grade boys and girls at practice every day. Having coached CMS football, I knew what type of athletes the boys were. I have been impressed and am excited seeing some of the talented athletes we have coming up next year.”
Cedartown track is scheduled to host its first home event on Thursday as they will host county rival Rockmart. After a week off, the teams return to action Apr. 15 for another middle and high school meet at home.
The varsity squads will have their Region meet on Apr. 19 before having Sectionals at North Oconee High School on May 8. The GHSA Track and Field State Championships will take place May 13-15.