Pierce County senior Maleek Chandel won the Class 3A triple jump title, leading the Bears to a fourth-place finish, its best ever, in Albany at Hugh Mills Stadium.
Chandel’s title was the lone individual gold captured by PCHS during the three-day finals held Thursday, May 13, thru Saturday, May 15, in Albany.
Pierce County’s Lady Bears sent three participants with Madison Pickett’s ninth-place showing in the shot put their best.
The Bears had two seconds, a third and a fourth from their three individual participants. Chandel was second in the high jump with Zae Plummer third. Jaquez White finished second in the 300-meter hurdles.
Greater Atlanta Christian’s girls clinched the program’s fourth state title since 2016 in Class 3A with 128 points. The Lady Trojans were followed by Westminster (115), Sandy Creek (107), Pike County (45) and White County (33).
Westminster’s boys won the Class 3A championship with 70 points to give the program its fifth all-time state title and first since 2013. Liberty County (52) was the runner-up followed by Hart County (43) and Pierce County (39) North Hall (36) and Cedar Grove (36) tied for fifth.
The Bears scored points in five of the six events they participated in to notch the best finish in school history.
Maleek Chandel’s winning leap of 45’7” in the triple jump eclipsed his mark of 44’6.25” at the Sectional in Commerce. The runner-up distance was 44’.
Chandel placed second in the high jump event clearing the bar at 6’4”. Chandel cleared 5’10” at the Sectional. Appling County’s Jaylen Green won the event with a height of 6’6”.
Jaquez White earned a second-place finish in the 300m intermediate hurdles with a time of 40.73 seconds. He posted the fastest prelim time of 41.30 besting a 41.45 time at the Sectional. The winning time of 40.35 was notched by Morgan County’s Joshua Jones, who ran a 41.43 in the prelims.
Zae Plummer, a pre-tournament favorite, was third in the high jump with a height of 6’4”. He joined Chandel with three misses at 6’6”. Plummer posted a 5’10” mark in the Sectional.
Chandel finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 22’1”, that coming on his fifth and final attempt besting his Sectional qualifier of 21’5”. The winning distance of 23’ was posted by Jackson’s Dennis Foster.
Pierce County’s 4x100m relay team of Chandel, Plummer, White and L.J. Newton were seventh in the final race with a time of 43.69 seconds. They qualified fifth in the prelims with a time of 43.26 to beat their mark of 43.61 set at the Sectionals. Liberty County won the title with a time of 42.03.
White finished 10th in the long jump with a mark of 20’2.5” topping his Sectional qualifying mark of 20’1.5”. He also finished 10th in the 110m hurdles prelims with a time of 16.45 seconds. His Sectional time was 16.31.
The Lady Bears’ Madison Pickett placed 11th in the shot put event with a heave of 33’9.75” beating her Sectional qualifying mark of 33’6.5”. Liberty County’s Leia Williams won the title with a distance of 39’6.75”.
Natalie Herrin placed ninth in the 400m prelims with a time of 1:02.235 behind the eighth-place time of 1:02.233. Herrin notched a 1:03.92 in the Sectional.
Herrin also placed ninth in the 800m prelim race with a time of 2:33.28 with the final spot at 2:28.86. Herrin logged a 2:34.39 time at the Sectional.
Sophie Scruggs placed 10th in the 800m prelim posting a time of 2:33.77 besting her Sectional qualifying time of 2:36.11.