Stephenson wins first track title since 2002, Marist girls dominate

Stephenson High School boys track and field team and Marist School’s girls track and field team won the GHSA 4A state championships in Albany May 15.

With these wins, Stephenson notched its first state championship in track and field since 2002, and Marist added its eighth state championship in the past year and its fourth track and field state championship in program history.

Stephenson Head Coach Donald Sellers said the win meant everything to him. He said the state title was a group effort, crediting his student athletes and assistant coaches for the work they put in this season.

“We talked about things that may happen. We had to stay focused and stay composed. No matter what happens in championships, it comes down to the mile relay. Those that started and those that finished, they all stepped up to the challenge,” said Sellers.

Stephenson scored 60 points May 15 and climbed the leaderboard by at least two spots with each score.

The Jaguars were in third place overall heading into the last event. Jefferson High School led Stephenson by three points and North Oconee High School led Stephenson by six and a half points.

However, Stephenson captured gold in the 4×400-meter relays and clinched the state title with a final score of 74 points, to North Oconee’s 70.5, Jefferson’s 67 and Marist’s 65.5.

“What better way to win than what we talked about from the beginning of the season until now,” said Sellers. “Everything starts with the mile relay, even though it’s the last race.”

Stephenson senior Bradley Favors swept the 400-meter with a time of 46.74 and swept the 200-meter with a time of 21.65. Stephenson’s Jace Coleman was runner-up in the 100-meter dash at 10.90. 

“Today meant a whole lot. This is our first state title since 2002, and it has been a long time coming,” Favors said. “We’ve been working for this for four years, and this has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. I had a state championship on my list, and I finally accomplished it.”

Marist dominated the girls’ events at the state meets.

The Marist War Eagles ran away with the distance events, with the girls’ totaling 71 points on the first two days of the meet.

Ruby Little won the 3200-meter in a time of 10:58, and Nicole Pizzo placed second at 11:04. Johna Grisik won the 800-meter race at 2:14.17, and Kate Selover came in third. Grisik also won the 1600-meter event by recording a 4:59.88.

Marist finished with a total of 116 points, and Jefferson placed second with 78.5 points.

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