Lady Devils bring home a state title
With only a dozen and half elite athletes, Elbert County dominated the 2019 Georgia High School
Association’s 2019 State Track and Field Championships May 9-11.
At Berry College’s Valhalla Stadium, the veteran Lady Blue Devils, who had been knocking on the
door the last two years with top 10 finishes, captured the state crown.
The reigning 2018 state Blue Devil champions, however, settled for a runners-up finish behind
Bleckley County, which qualified five more athletes for the state meet (13-8) than Elbert this season.
The Elbert County girls won with 60.5 points followed by Oglethorpe County (52.5) and Kipp Atlanta
Junior Emerson Brown led the scoring for Elbert by winning the 100-meter dash (12.15), finishing
third in the 200 (25.68), fourth in the triple jump (36-3) and by running on the winning 4x100-meter
relay team (48.55) with teammates Tykeya Gray, Ja’Lexus Burden and Madelyn Dias.
Former shot put and discus state champion Shakira Ardister ended her high school career on top
in the shot put again, winning gold with a toss of 39-2. The senior thrower finished in finished in
fourth place in the discus (116-2). Ciara Wigfall came in 14th in the shot (30-9.5).
Gray (senior) placed third in the high jump (5-2) and fourth in the 400-meter run (1:00.89).
Burden (senior) came in sixth place in the triple jump (35-4.5) and ninth in the long jump (15-8).
Dias (sophomore) finished 12th in the long jump (14-11.5).
In the boys division, Elbert finished a distant second to Bleckely, which won with a 41-point margin
of victory (88-47).
Another former state gold medalist, Fleming, left his final high school track meet on top, leaving
his mark in the history books.
The senior not only won both the 110-meter hurdlers (13.94) and the long jump (24-.5) again, but in
doing so he bettered his personal records and broke Elbert County’s records.
Fleming also leaped into second place in the triple jump (45-1.5) and ran on Elbert’s seventh-placed
4x100 team (43.27) of Ty Johnson, Shun Allen and Jaquiris Harris.
Johnson also set a PR in his third-placed finish in the 400 (50.06).
Senior B.J. Bradford was a state-runner-up discus thrower with his launch of 152-3, and junior D.J.
Ardister placed sixth in the shot put (48-04).