Bearcat runners have strong showing at Larry Clark Invitational

Published 4:32 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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After a strong showing at the Jesse Forbes relay to open the season on February 25, the Bainbridge High School track and field teams followed it up with another quality performance this past weekend as they hosted the 2023 Larry Clark Invitational. Hosted at Bainbridge High School, the Larry Clark Invitational welcomed over 12 schools as both boys and girls teams from Bainbridge High School took home a third place finish overall.

To open the season at the Jesse Forbes relay, many Bearcat runners turned in top performances to secure a top five finish. Nya Blocker earned first place in the 200m dash, second place in long jump, and third place in the 400m dash R.J. Hamilton took home second place in the triple jump, followed by Jace Weaver earning third place in the 110m Hurdles and sixth place in the 400m hurdles. Keenan Phillips placed fourth in the long jump and D.J. Jackson placed third in the discus.

With expectations being set in the first race, Bearcat runners continued to dominate and turn in personal best performances on Saturday for the home crowd to see.

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For the girls team, Nya Blocker earned a first place finish in the girls 200m hurdles that saw 30 different runners compete. Blocker finished with a time of 24.75 which easily gave her a first place finish. Blocker’s day wasn’t finished as she also competed in the girls 400m run where she earned a second place finish, finishing just one second behind the first place finisher.

Another strong performer for the girls team was Lena Wilson as Wilson saw a top five finish in the girls 800m run. In the field events, Treasure Jenkins also saw a first place finish as she earned first place in both shot put and discus. Ashley Mosely, Lena Wilson, Zamiyah Ofton and Elexis Warner all turned in strong performances for the girls team as they all competed in multiple events, helping the girl team finish third overall on Saturday.

The boys team saw a third place overall team finish as well, with many runners earning top ten performances on the day. The Bearcat boys dominated the triple jump, as the first three finishers were from Bainbridge High School. RJ Hamilton took home first place, followed by Keenan Phillips at second and Jordan Olds taking home third place. Hamilton and Phillips also had a strong showing in the long jump event as Hamilton took home seventh place followed by Phillips at eighth.

In the boys 1600 meter run, the leaderboards were filled with Bainbridge representation as GCA runner Walker Elrod finished third, followed by Bearcat runner Jahlae Sapp. Elrod had a strong day overall as well as he later earned second in the 3200m run.

Bearcat senior Lyric Pennywell saw a fourth place finish in the boys 800m run as he turned in a 2:15 finish. Jace Weaver was across multiple leaderboards on Saturday, finishing third in the boys 110m hurdles and second in the boys 300m hurdles.

The relays were one of the most competitive parts of the day, as top performances from both boys and girls relay teams further helped secure the third place finish. In the girls 4×100 relay, the Bainbridge High School girls team finished second with a time of 50:90, just .40 behind first place.

After two extremely successful meets to begin the season, the Bearcat runners have high hopes for the 2023 season and will be competing in the Yellowjacket Invitational on Saturday, March 11 at Thomas County Central High School.