Chris Goltermann / Coweta Score
Not even Mother Nature could get to the finish line faster than Kyle Harkabus at this year’s GHSA Track Championships at Berry College.
The East Coweta junior successfully began the defense of a pair of individual Class 7A titles with his third consecutive victory in the 1,600 meters at Valhalla Stadium.
Harkabus, who also advanced to Saturday’s finals in the 800 in Class 7A, closed out Friday’s competition with a victory in 4:16.44, more than six seconds faster than his season-best time this spring.
It was enough to hold off Roswell’s Jack Rhodes by two seconds while putting the Indians in second place behind Parkview by a 34-23 margin heading into the final day of the meet.
Wet weather by way of thunderstorms greeted runners on Saturday. A complete wrapup will appear in Wednesday’s sports section.
Along with Harkabus, East Coweta’s boys picked up 11 points among three placers from county athletes in the Class 7A long jump. Senior Brayden Carey led the trio by placing third at 22-6 ½, ahead of Indians teammate Christopher Pitt in fourth at 22-4. Newnan senior Elijah Williams took sixth at 22-½ to put the Cougars on the scoreboard.
East Coweta’s boys also added points in the triple jump on a seventh-place effort by Rakiyan Moss of 43-5.
Newnan’s boys advanced to Saturday’s finals in the 400-relay among a senior foursome of Williams, brothers Malik and Tyriq Hussie and Trey Bridges. Malik qualified for finals in the 400 and Tyriq in the 100.
The Cougars also advanced to the finals in the 1,600 relay among a team of the Hussies, Williams and senior Vyshawn Wright. Newnan junior Bo Palmer joined Harkabus in advancing to the finals in the 800.
Along with Harkabus’ run in the 800, East Coweta was set to add points Saturday in both hurdles events. Senior Ahumad Williams finished with the third fastest qualifying time in the 110-meter event while senior Ramal Holston qualified fifth in the 300-meter run.
Friday’s scorers in the Class 7A meet also included Lady Cougars sophomore Kaylen “K.K.” Madrey, who finished fifth in the high jump at 5-4 to put Newnan’s girls on the scoreboard.
East Coweta’s two senior state qualifiers, London Fowler and Paishence Collier closed out varsity careers. Fowler just missed the podium in the Class 7A shot put, finishing ninth at 36-11 ¾. Collier competed in the 800 meters.
In boys field events, Newnan senior SanJuan Warner competed in the discus.
Berry College also hosted the Class A-Private championships, with both Trinity Christian lineups able to score points. The Lions picked up a seventh-place finish from junior Shamari Reed in the long jump at 20-¾.
Reed also advanced to Saturday’s finals of both the 100 and 200 for Trinity’s boys while senior Kyle McGuire advanced in the 400.
Both Lions athletes also advanced to the finals of the 400 relay with Lions teammates Jalen Neal and Damini Paddy.
Claire Carson set a season-best of 8-6 in the pole vault to reach the podium while placing eighth overall, with more points set to come on Saturday.
At the Class 6A meet in Carrollton, Northgate freshman Malik Mixon advanced to the finals of the 110 hurdles.
Trinity’s 1,600-relay of Bryce Hackworth, Sarah Nelson, Claire Geerlings and Reagan Rogers advanced in preliminaries. Hackworth also reached the finals of the 100 hurdles for the Lady Lions.