“I’m real excited for the girls; they’ve worked hard this year and I know they’ll do well at state,” Owen said. “They know what it takes to win and now it’s time to finish what they started. I’m so proud of them.”
The six Lady Jags headed to Albany are Shay Wright, Jenna Wesley, Stanariel Phinazee, Dominique Nock, Shakeva Richards and Melissa Jefferson. Jefferson will be an alternate on the 4x400 relay team, which is comprised of Wright, Phinazee, Nock and Wesley. The team ran a school-record 4:00.87 to qualify.
Wesley - who finished eighth last year at state in the 1600 with a run of 5:29.189 - will compete in the 800 and 1600 meter runs (where she has the 4th and 6th fastest times in the state, respectively) this year, while Phinazee will run the 400 meter dash, where she’ll try to beat her school-record time of 58.4, Nock will also try to best her mark of 18’ in the long jump and Richards will try to break her school-record throw of 33-1 1/2 in the shot put.
Owen believes her team has a great shot to become state champs in their individual events as well as the 4x4 relay.
“Even though this is their first time at state, the girls are mentally prepared and they realize anybody can win,” she said. “We’re going down to Albany representing Spalding High and the city of Griffin. We’re going to let the chips fall where they may.”
Nock, a freshman, is excited and nervous at the same time about making state.
“Coach Owen said there’s going to be over 1,000 people there watching us so that’s why I’m nervous,” said Nock, who runs the third leg on the 4x4 relay team. “I’m confident we can break our last relay time of 4.0 flat. I know we can do it.”
Richards, a junior who stars on the basketball team, said she’s really looking forward to competing at state in the shot put.
“I’m very excited. I like competing in the shot put because it makes me feel strong and it shows that I can do more than just play basketball,” Richards said. “I’m looking to get as many points as I can for my team. It should be fun.”