POWDER SPRINGS — Dallis Goodnight’s breakout season in the long jump finished perfectly Thursday at the Class AAAAAAA Track and Field Championships.
The Alabama Crimson Tide softball signee won the state championship with a leap of 18 feet, 5 1/2 inches, just an inch ahead of Cherokee’s Skylar Harrelson, who stuck 18-4 1/2 on her final attempt. Goodnight’s long jump was short of her school record of 19-2 1/2, set at sectionals prior to state, but it was good enough to make her a state champ.
“Honestly, it’s very exciting, very humbling to be able to experience this and be able to look bac at all the hard work this year and the past couple of years and see it pay off,” Goodnight said. “I’m excited it was in a different sport since I wasn’t able to win one in softball.”
Mill Creek came close to a softball title when Goodnight was a sophomore, finishing as state runner-up. She began competing in the long jump at the end of her sophomore year, but didn’t get to showcase those skills in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the season.
She made up for it this season with the state title capping a two-month span that also saw her win county (with a meet record leap of 18-9) and sectional championships. Her long jump success also has her thinking about joining the track and field team at Alabama if it fits into her softball schedule.
“I’m going to talk to my college coach and see if I’m able to jump at Alabama because I love it, it’s fun,” said Goodnight, who competes in the 100-meter dash Friday with hopes of lowering her personal record of 12.25 seconds.
Goodnight won Gwinnett’s only girls state title in AAAAAAA on Thursday, but the county had plenty of other highlights, including runner-up finishes by throwers Mykhayla Carroll of Archer and Kameryn Hannon of Grayson. Carroll was second in the shot put at 39-5, and Hannon was second in the discus at 125-5. Hannon was eighth in the shot put (36-5), while teammate Samantha Smith placed in both throws (fourth, discus, 117-1 and seventh, shot put, 37-10 1/2).
Gwinnett high jumpers Eliza Bidwell of Mountain View and Sierra Harrison of North Gwinnett tied for third in the high jump as both cleared 5-2. In the pole vault, Norcross’ Octavia Allan was fourth at 10-6, followed by Archer’s Emily Miner (fifth, 10-6) and North’s Kellyn Posey (sixth, 10-0).
Mill Creek’s girls team also had a big day with placers Madison Aiken (sixth, triple jump, 36-5 1/4), Emily Chandler (sixth, discus, 116-3) and Delilyah Pelham (sixth, long jump, 17-2 1/2). The Hawks’ 3,200 relay of Joycelyn Tifrea, Kathryn Scales, Jordyn Purnell and Edith Kahiga finished in eighth at 9:50.34.
Brookwood’s girls had Gwinnett’s best 3,200 relay as the foursome of Macy Felton, Trinity Thurman, Emma Rhodes and Allie Wardle was sixth in 9:45.34.
Gwinnett’s other girls placers Thursday were Parkview’s Sussy Ngulefac (sixth, shot put, 37-10 1/2) and Carson Moore (eighth, triple jump, 36-0), North’s Adaora Tagbo (seventh, long jump, 17-2 1/2) and Discovery’s Taylor Watkins (eighth, high jump, 5-0).
The boys meet heats up Friday with field events, but Gwinnett had a good showing in Thursday’s boys 3,200 final as Norcross’ Miguel Schlicht was fourth in 9:14.58.