POWDER SPRINGS — Marietta sat atop the boys team standings after the opening day of the Class AAAAAAA state championships Thursday at McEachern’s Ralph D. Williams Sports Complex.
With 24 points, the Blue Devils hold a slight advantage over Brookwood (21). Hillgrove (9) was 13th in the boys standings, joined by Walton (14th, 8.50), Harrison (17th, 6.50) and host McEachern (21st, 5).
Hillgrove led the way among local teams in the girls standings, sitting fourth with 16.5 points behind Lowndes (33), Archer (22) and Cherokee (21). Harrison (14) was close behind the Lady Hawks in sixth place, followed by McEachern (22nd, 4) and Marietta (23rd, 3).
In the Class A Private boys competition, Whitefield Academy was ninth with 15 points, followed by Mount Paran Christian (10th, 9).
Walker (10) was tied for ninth with Providence Christian in the girls standings, followed by North Cobb Christian (11th, 8), Mount Paran (15th, 5) and Whitefield (1, 24th).
Whitefield pole vaulter Brenden Vanderpool was the lone Cobb County champion crowned in the field events, with a new Class A record mark of 15 feet, 2 inches. He finished ahead of Mount Paran’s Carson McKenzie and Holy Innocents’ Connor White, who each cleared 13 feet.
“Right now, I just feel ecstatic,” said Vanderpool, who finished fourth in the pole vault last year. “I already jumped close to (15-2 during the indoor track season). The transition from indoor to outdoor was just long. It took me forever to get back, and that’s why I yelled at the top of my jump, because I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, finally, after four months of trying to get back, I finally did it’, and on the last chance I could — literally, the last chance that I could. I’m just so super excited.”
Harrison won the state title in the girls 4x800-meter relay, while Hillgrove was runner-up.
The Lady Hoyas’ quartet of Riley Curtis, Kate Curtis, Lidia Longo and Samantha McGarity won with a time of 9 minutes, 19.30 seconds, with Hillgrove’s foursome of Ava Brooks, Yolanda Brooks, Meghan Flanagan and Reese Terza placing second at 9:29.57.
Marietta was led by runner-up finishes by Max Herman in the discus and Boubacar Ndome in the triple jump.
Herman finished second in the discus (157-7), trailing Brookwood’s Langston Jones (163-10), while Ndome placed second in the triple jump (47-6), trailing Meadowcreek’s Michael Tatnall (48-2¾).