LAWRENCEVILLE — For most track and field, and cross country fans in Georgia, Myles Collins is a known entity. For those outside of Georgia, Collins’ name will be mentioned in a few more circles after running a speedy 1,600-meter race Saturday in the Big Mouth Signs/Shuma Sports Archer Invitational.
Collins’ time of 4 minutes, 8.78 seconds was good enough for No. 1 in the nation, and seventh all-time in Georgia, giving him the distinction of now having two times in the top 10 nationally after he ran 1:56.30 in the 800 last Saturday at the Marietta Distance Carnival.
“It’s a good feeling (to have the best time nationally),” Collins said. “It shows that the work I’m putting in with my teammates is really helping.”
Collins said he believes he can still get faster in the 1,600, but knows he’ll have to continue to develop his speed, something he did on Saturday as well, finishing first in the 800 with a time of 1:57.53, narrowly beating Marietta’s Kamari Miller by .04 seconds.
“Kamari’s a great racer and was right there,” Collins said. “But the competitor in me didn’t want to lose. I’m glad I could hang on.”
For Dacula’s boys team, 42.5 points in field events propelled the Falcons to a second-place finish with 86 points, only 24 points behind team champion Marietta with 110 points. Archer finished third (80) and Shiloh finished fourth (67.5).
“We knew we had a lot of talented kids in the field events,” said Dacula boys head coach Emmett Watkins. “We’ve always been talented in the throws, and now we expect to get points in the long and triple (jumps). Kaleb (Edwards) is looking really good in the high jump and Tyler Farris is going to be good for us in the pole vault, so I like what we have there.”
Adam Watkins put 18 points on the board for the Falcons with a win in the shot put (57 feet, 5 inches) and a second-place finish in the discus (155-3). Edwards also tied for the win in the high jump, leaping 6-2, while Gavin Nembhard finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 44-0. Farris finished fifth in the pole vault with a leap of 10-6.
In addition to the 42.5 points in field events, the Falcons also racked up a ton of points in running events. Christopher Scott picked up the win in the 200 (22.108), while also finishing second in the 100 (10.98), while Trenton Jones was third in the 400 (50.99). Esau Hutcherson took fourth in the 110 hurdles (15.25) and fifth in the 300 hurdles (41.70). The Falcons’ 1,600-meter relay team also finished fourth with a time of 3:32.35.
“We’ve got speed right now,” Watkins said. “Trenton is running well after being injured last year. Christopher is really showing up as well. Esau will be another one that’s going to be a big help this year for us. Ultimately, we’re running good right now, but we have to keep it going in the right direction. It’s still early (in the season). We have a long way to go.”
Shiloh also saw itself with three event winners on the boys side as Dakota Thomas (14.89) won the 110 hurdles, Patrez Thomas (40.00) won the 300 hurdles and the 1,600-meter relay team won with a time of 3:30.77. The 400-meter relay team also took third (43.49) and the 3,200-meter relay team took fourth (8:44.67).
Other top Gwinnett finishers on the boys side were Tarris Bouie of Peachtree Ridge, who tied for the win in the high jump (6-2) and Central’s De’Andre Sutton with a win the in the 400 (49.88). Peachtree Ridge’s Marcellus Sells (50.97) was second in the 400 and 300 hurdles (40.80), while Archer’s 3,200-meter relay team finished second (8:37.03), and Sebastian Rodriguez took a pair of third-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200.
On the girls side, Archer finished second (91.5 points) behind last year’s Class AAAAAAA runner-up Marietta (109).
The Tigers got strong finishes from Sarah McCartney, who finished first in the 3,200 (11:38.47) and second in the 1,600 (5:30.11). Camryn King (14.95) won the 100 hurdles and teammate Emily Cragin also took fourth in the 1,600 (5:43), while Mykhayla Carroll was second in the discus (126-0) and third in the shot put (37-4.5). The 4x800-meter relay team took second (11:07.06).
Berkmar’s Justice Day (4-10) won the high jump, and Shiloh’s Jazmine Hobson won the 200 (24.83). The Generals also won the 400-meter relay with a time of 48.97.
Other top Gwinnett finishers included Peachtree Ridge and Shiloh, finished second and third (respectively) in the 1,600-meter relay. Shiloh’s Miniya Miller finished second in the shot put and third in the discus, while teammates Lashae Brewton (4-8) finished third in the high jump and Jasmine Johnson (1:00.35) finished third in the 400. Peachtree Ridge’s Trinity Marshall took third in the 100 hurdles (15.22).