Twins from Druid Hills, SWD lead DeKalb in state medal haul

Two sets of twins led DeKalb County School District (DCSD) to a 46-medal performance at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Track Championships held May 11-13.

Druid Hills High School twin sisters Sanaa Frederick and Sole Frederick and Southwest DeKalb High School twin brothers Isaiah Taylor and Xzaviah Taylor combined for 13 of DCSD’s 46 total medals. DCSD athletes also set six new state records as four DCSD teams placed in the top five of their classifications – including Southwest DeKalb winning its second consecutive state championship.

The Taylor twins are the sons of former Southwest DeKalb state champion and Olympic champion DeAngelo Taylor.

“They ran in two meets their freshman year before COVID caused the cancellation of the rest of the season,” said Southwest DeKalb track coach Bob Mullen. “They were running the same times as the varsity players that early in the season, and I feel they would have made it to state that year.”

The Taylor twins have combined for nine individual medals and five gold medal relay teams. Isaiah Taylor has five individual medals (three gold, two silver), while his brother has one silver medal and three bronze medals. The pair have been a part of three consecutive 4×400-meter relay gold medal winning teams, including this 2023’s record-setting squad (3:10.55) alongside Therrian Alexander and Xavier Turner. The team broke the 36-year-old record of 3:13.21 set in 1987 by another Southwest DeKalb team consisting of Rodney Hooks, Kelly Carter, Hason Graham, and Eddie Miller.

“Most people haven’t seen their work ethic and effort they put into improving themselves,” said Mullen. “They wake up early in the morning and run, they work out and run on the weekends and have been a major influence and part of these back-to-back state championships.”

In 2022, the pair combined to account for six gold medals as Southwest DeKalb won the DeKalb County Track Championships for the first time since 2018 as precursor to winning the 2022 Class 5A state championship. The brothers combined for three individual medals and ran on three gold medal relay teams including the 4×100 (Isaiah Taylor), 4×200 (Xzaviah Taylor) and the 4×400 (both).

The twins also aided two big comeback victories in both the DeKalb County and Class 4A State Championships in 2023.

Isaiah Taylor swept the hurdle events at state with a state record-setting time of 35.94 in the 300 hurdles – which is the top time in the U.S. this year. Xzaviah Taylor grabbed silver in the 300 hurdles, bronze in the 400-meter run, and was part of the record-setting time of 1:25:13 in the 4×200. The pair also aided the state record-setting time of 3:10.55 in the 4×400 relay.

Both brothers have signed to run track at North Carolina A&T University next season.

Frederick twins raising the bar at Druid Hills

Druid Hills High School’s twin junior track stars Sanaa Frederick and Sole Frederick are raising the bar for the Lady Red Devils track program and pulling their teammates along with them, according to their coach.

“Sanaa and Sole have been very instrumental in the Druid Hills track and field program over the past three years,” said Druid Hills track coach Henrietta George. “They work hard and never make excuses and their presence creates a positive atmosphere in practice and at the meets.”

The pair helped lead the Lady Red Devils to their first-ever DeKalb County Track and Field Championships title in 2023, following back-to-back fourth-place finishes in 2021 and 2022.

The twins were part of the 4×400-meter relay win that decided the 2023 Napoleon Cobb DeKalb County Track and Field Championships title, while Sanaa Frederick was named the Roslyn Wallace Outstanding Girls’ Performer.

“Their teammates are encouraged and motivated to break records and soar higher by seeing the twins achieve greatness,” said George. “Every day they figure out how to improve their performances. They are humble but also the hardest on themselves because they aim to please.”

The 200-meter dash battle between the sisters at the Class 4A Girls’ State Track Championships also came down to the wire. Sole Frederick defeated her sister by 0.01 of a second in the prelims, setting a new state record of 23.52. Her time of 23.53 bested the previous state record of 23.64 set by Chamblee’s Mary Ann Erigha 20 years ago.

Sanaa Frederick came back on May 12 to break her sister’s record by running a 23.39 to set the new record in the event as she won gold by just 0.02 of a second.

The 200-meter dash win gave Sanaa Frederick a sweep of the 100-meter and 200-meter dash events for the second consecutive year, including also setting a record in the 100 of 11.41 to break the 36-year-old mark of 11.50.

The pair teamed with teammates Jadyn Bolden and Miya Carthan for another state record by winning the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 45.74 to break the mark of 45.91 set in 2015 by Baldwin. The same four also won gold in the 4×400 relay (3:49.85).

Sanaa Frederick now has four individual state gold medals (two in the 100-meter dash and two in the 200-meter dash) along with a bronze (100-meter dash) and silver medal (200-meter dash) from 2021. Sole’s state medal collection stands at two with the silver and bronze from 2023.

The twins also hold a gold in the 4×100 relay from 2002 along with a silver in the 4×400 the same year and bronze in the 4×100 in 2021.

The pair has received scholarship offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU and other colleges as they head towards their senior year at Druid Hills.

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