May 12, 2010
Record still on Porter's mind
It all started when Jefferson's Tyler Porter was young.
The two-time defending state champion in pole vault, Porter first picked up a pole when he was just a kid - after the same state meet where he'll compete this weekend at Jefferson High School - and hasn't looked back.
"I really got hooked on pole vault because of the aspect of going that high is what really got me into it," Porter said. "I picked up a pole after the state meet one night, and me and my grandpa were just vaulting around the pit and I've just been hooked ever since then."
His qualifying effort for the state meet was 13 feet, 6 inches, which is well below the personal record of 16 feet he set earlier this season. But 16 feet isn't the number on Porter's mind.
To be certified as the state record holder, the record must be set at the state meet. The current record is 15-8 for class AA and hasn't been touched since 1998.
That was when Porter's uncle, Chris Keen, set the record, and it's all that has been on his Porter's mind since he failed three times last season to break that mark.
"My No. 1 goal is to jump higher than 15 feet, 8 inches, because that's my uncle's state record right now," Porter said. "If I can clear that, then I'm going to go for the all-class record, which is 16-7."
Porter has been the epitome of what a track and field athlete should be, according to Jefferson coach Tim Corbett. Porter sets the tone for the rest of the team and as he's matured, his competitive nature has only grown and intensified.
"The reason he is so consistent is because of his work ethic and what he does everyday," Corbett said. "He does a million reps a year and sets a really good example for the rest of the team."
Also known as the Georgia Olympics, the state meet will be Porter's last meet in high school. Luckily for the Dragons' leader, it will be a home meet of sorts.
"It really gives me a good advantage because it's where I practice a lot and everyone in the community is going to be there," Porter said. "It's kind of sad, but it's kind of the start of a new journey because college is next and this is a big competition."
But Porter isn't going to just any college.
He signed with Tennessee in March after deciding he wanted to attend somewhere close to home that would also allow him to enjoy the college experience. The Volunteer vaulters' 10 Southeastern Conference titles since 1993 didn't hurt his decision either.
"Tennessee is kind of like the vault powerhouse of the SEC," Porter said. "Their coach is from Carrollton, who has jumped in a state meet at Jefferson, so we have a connection there."
Corbett doesn't expect anything different in college than what he's given Jefferson for the past four years.
"It's going to be like anything else, there'll be some highs and some lows for him, but I think he's going to progress and the coaches are really high on him up there," Corbett said. "I think it's going to be a really good situation for him and I'm looking forward to seeing it."
But college will have to wait, at least until Porter can give his uncle's record a shot. The record is one Porter and Corbett are excited to see broken.
"I would always like to see a (personal record) out of him, and anything over 16-1 out of him would be a PR," Corbett said. "Now's the time to do it."
Dragons finish third in region 8-AA track championships
April 4, 2010
► NORTH OCONEE WINS REGION: At Jefferson, North Oconee posted two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes on the second day of competition to win the Region 8-AA track championship.
The Titans scored 143 points and were followed by Oglethorpe County (105 points), Jefferson (95), Riverside Military Academy (75), East Jackson (72.5), Walnut Grove (38.5), Banks County (34), Dawson County (27), Rabun County (20) and Fannin County (7).
North Oconee's first-place finishers included Ian Wraga in the 800 meters (two minutes, 2.39 seconds) and the 1,600-meter "A" relay team, which included Tripp Hurt, Wraga, Patrick Smith and Stafford McCurry (3:31.47). Hurt finished second in the 3,200 (10:24.42), as did the 1,600 "B" team of Levi Street, Wes Brooks, Jordan Nemetz and Jake Johnson.
Oglethorpe County's Josh Holloway won the 3,200 in a time of 10:19.11 and Maurice Freeman finished second in the 200 in a time of 22.90.
Derrick Perkins of Jefferson won the region title in the 110 hurdles (15.48) and the 300 hurdles (40.01). East Jackson's Brandon Banks came in second in the 800 in a time of 2:03.51.
The Georgia Olympics are set for May 13-15 at Jefferson
Region 8-AA Track at Jefferson
April 30, 2010
► NORTH OCONEE ON TOP: At Jefferson, North Oconee posted three first-place finishes and two second-place finishes to take the first-day lead at the Region 8-AA track championships. The Titans have 62 points and are trailed by Jefferson and Oglethorpe County (60 points), East Jackson (33.5), Riverside Military Academy (21), Rabun County (18), Banks County (9), Dawson County (5), Walnut Grove (3.5) and Fannin County (1).
North Oconee's region champions included Stafford McCurry in the triple jump (45 feet, 11/4 inches), Levi Street in the long jump (20-2 1/2) and Ian Wraga in the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 38.73 seconds). Second-place finishers included Stafford in the high jump (6-2), Tripp Hurt in the 1,600 (4:39.32).
Jefferson's region champions included Josh Kles in the shot put (51-5 1/4) and discus (145-0), Tyler Porter in the pole vault (13-6). Second-place finishers included Sky Porter in the pole vault (12-0), Derrick Perkins in the triple jump (43-11).
Oglethorpe County was led by Duveriux Jones, who won the high jump (6-2). D.J. Johnson finished second in the long jump (20-2) and Dontavious Jennings finished second in the shot put (50-9).
East Jackson's Nick Fulks finished second in the discus (130-0).
The meet will conclude on Monday.
Boys Track ~ April 13, 2010
► JEFFERSON FINISHES SECOND: At Jefferson, the Dragons had six first-place finishes but could not get by Gainesville, whose Paul Malquist recorded a winning pole vault of 16 feet, 9 inches, the second-best leap in the nation this year and the new venue record at Jefferson. Gainesville finished with 66 points, defeating the Dragons (60 points) and Buford (44 points).
Derrick Perkins and Josh Kles led the way for Jefferson. Perkins won the triple jump (41-9 3/4), 110-meter hurdles (15.52 seconds) and the 300 hurdles (41.75 seconds) and was part of the winning 1,600-meter relay team with Sky Porter (who also played in Jefferson's tennis match against Athens Academy on Tuesday), Josh Watkins and Noah McCarthy (3:38).
Kles won the shot put (51-2) and the discus (146-0).
► GAINESVILLE SLIPS BY JEFFERSON: At Jefferson, the Lady Dragons had eight first-place finishes but visiting Gainesville scored 68 points to slide by with a one-point victory.
Iniki Allen led the Lady Dragons with wins in the 100-meter hurdles (17.36 seconds) and the 300-meter hurdles (51.42) and she was paced by Rayna Davis (shot put, 32 feet, 4 inches), Kasey McDonald (discus, 94-4), Lauren Taronji (1,600 meters, 6:12), Erin Knight (800 meters, 2:41) and Lauren Phillips (3,200 meters, 14:25).
Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Wednesday, April 14, 2010
JEFFERSON PROTECTS HOME TURF: The Jefferson boys track and field team finished first in Group 2 of the Jefferson Relays on Saturday.
The Dragons finished with 134 points followed by Decatur with 106, Athens Academy with 76, Commerce with 75, Oglethorpe County with 59, and East Jackson with 44.
Jefferson's first-place finishers included Derrick Perkins (triple-jump, 300-meters hurdles), Noah McCarthy (high jump), Tyler Porter (pole vault).
Ben Glauser (shot put, discus) finished first for Athens Academy. The Spartans finished first in the 4x800, and distance medley relays.
Other notable first-place finishers: Oglethorpe County's D.J. Johnson (long jump), Commerce Tigers Deon Brock (110-meters hurdles) and Terreck Ramsey (100 meters).
Girls track and field
► JEFFERSON GIRLS AND ATHENS ACADEMY GIRLS TIE FOR SECOND AT JEFFERSON RELAYS: The Decatur girls finished first in group two in the Jefferson relays.
Jefferson and Athens Academy tied for second-place with 106 points, followed by Oglethorpe County with 70, Commerce with 50, and East Jackson with 31.
Torie Owers (shot put, discus), Alisa Sheppard (pole vault) placed first for Athens Academy. The Spartans won the 4x800 relay.
Notable first-place finishers include: Jefferson's Aniki Allen (100-meters hurdles). Commerce Tigers' Quavia Varnum (100 meters).
Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, April 11, 2010
► JEFFERSON WINS TRI-MEET: At Jefferson, the Dragons finished first in six events to score 73 points, defeating Rabun County (51) and Banks County (45).
Derrek Perkins led Jefferson with victories in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and Rashan Borders won the long jump and the triple jump. The Dragons also got first-place finishes from Draqunn Sewell in the 100, Noah McCarthy won the high jump.
The Dragons will host the Jefferson Relays on Saturday.
► LADY DRAGONS BEAT RABUN, BANKS: At Jefferson, the Lady Dragons posted victories in nine events to score 77 points, defeating Rabun County (45) and Banks County (12).
Regina Watkins won the 100 meters and was paced by Holly Baron (200), Erin Knight (800), Lauren Taronji (1,600), Daniella Watson (high jump), Rebecca Stoudenmire (pole vault), Rayna Davis (shot put) and Kasey McDonald (discus).
The 400 relay team of Watkins, Eden Starnes, Baron and Hester was also victorious.
The Lady Dragons will host the Jefferson Relays on Saturday.
Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Wednesday, April 07, 2010