SUWANEE — Brad Kinser’s Greater Atlanta Christian track and field teams have done just about everything during his 32-year tenure as head coach, so new feats don’t come often.
One milestone was reached Monday night, though.
The Spartans won the girls title at the Gwinnett County Track and Field Championships at Peachtree Ridge, giving their longtime coach his first Gwinnett County title. The Class AAA power finished with 86 points to hold off AAAAAAA teams Brookwood (75) and Peachtree Ridge (68). Buford (60.5) and Archer (58) also finished in the top five.
“It was a team thing,” said Kinser, whose teams have won four state titles (three in girls, one in boys) since 2015. “We scored in field events. We had a county champion in the pole vault (Nyla Thompson). Both our throwers (Alana Thomas and Autumn Clark) placed in shot and discus. The 800 and miler (Morgan Collins) really exceeded expectations, broke a school record. The sprinters just really performed. We scored a lot of different ways, so I was really proud of them.
“This wasn’t really on our radar to think we were going to have a chance to win, but it is satisfying. I remember when I first started here a long time ago when we weren’t very good and we didn’t score many points. To win it is very satisfying, especially in a county like this with all the talent you saw here today. It’s amazing.”
GAC’s Nia Wilson, Trinity Rossum, Tamika Scarlett and Danielle Jones won the county title in the 400 relay in 46.01 seconds, and Wilson’s sprinting also brought a runner-up finish in the 100 (11.84) and a third-place effort in the 200 (24.37). Scarlett was fourth in the 100 (12.03), and Jones was second in the 300 hurdles (45.80).
Collins was GAC’s lone individual champion with a victory in the 800 in 2:18.94, backing up her sixth-place run in the 1,600 on Saturday. The Spartans won without Rossum, a UCLA recruit, competing in individual sprints. She was just cleared from an injury and didn’t run in prelims Saturday.
“My assistant coaches, they do an awesome job,” Kinser said. “The sprint coaches, the throws coaches, the distance coaches. It’s not really me. I drive the bus and just cheer for people. I’ve got some great coaches and a great group of young ladies. I’m proud of them.”
Peachtree Ridge’s Tamiia Fuller broke the meet record in the 100 at 11.66, lowering the mark from 11.73 that had held since Jasmine Abrams of Grayson set it in 2012. Fuller also was runner-up in the 200, won by Buford’s Sydney Harris. Harris finished in 23.98 to edge out Fuller’s 24.01.
Harris also won the 400 county title in a meet-record time of 54.17 — the old mark of 54.25 was set in 2013 by Mill Creek’s Malayshia George — and joined Samaya Wayne, Tavye Borders and Ava Grace Watson on a first-place 1,600 relay (3:55.44).
Brookwood’s 3,200 relay had the day’s other girls meet record with a time of 9:43.05. Allie Wardle rallied the Broncos with her anchor leg, joining teammates Macy Felton, Emma Rhodes and Trinity Thurman on the championship relay. Wardle was second in the 800 (2:19.68) on Monday after winning the 1,600 Saturday.
Parkview’s Haley Primm won the other distance race, taking the 3,200 title in 11:22.65. Providence Christian’s Ayden Drake won the 300 hurdles (44.71) and was third in the 400 (57.32), and Archer’s Camryn King won the 100 hurdles (14.79).