Council wins big at state track again

May 15—Julian Council added some more hardware to his already stout collection over the weekend.

The GMC Prep junior star distance runner brought home three gold medals from the GHSA Class A Division 2 track and field state championship meet held at East Jackson High School in Commerce, winning the 800, 1600, and 3200.

Those performances put Council only a quarter of a point away from his second consecutive state boys high-point award, but coming up just shy of that honor doesn't make what he did any less impressive. His 800 time of 2:04 was three seconds faster than the runner-up from Mitchell County. Both Council's one-mile and two-mile victories were by even more comfortable margins. He ran a 4:39 in the 1600, which was 13 seconds ahead of second place and six seconds better than his time as a sophomore. He posted a 10:25 in the 3200, putting him 10 seconds faster than the runner-up and a whopping 29 seconds faster than last year.

The three wins come on the heels of Council having finished first overall at the state cross country meet back in the fall.

As a team, the GMC Prep Bulldogs were third in the state behind champion Mitchell County and runner-up Warren County. Helping the Bulldogs' cause were: Grady Meier, who finished third in the 1600 in a tight finish and fifth in the 3200; Joel Deen, sixth in the 800; and the 4-by-800 relay team of Deen, Meier, Brandon Nisinger, and Jacob Sanford that took sixth.

The GMC girls had a strong third-place showing on the state stage as well led by senior Maria Knapp. She was state champ in the 800 by less than a second and runner-up in the 1600. Knapp also won a state title as part of the 4-by-800 relay team that included junior Lily Ryan, senior Lana Wood, and senior Ansley Adkinson. The group finished over 17 seconds faster than second place. Knapp and Ryan were joined by Meadow Roberts and Kalin Jackson in taking runner-up in the 4-by-400 relay. Ryan ran third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:01.40. The winner from Portal was almost at a minute on the dot. She'll be back next year, as will every runner that made the finals in the 400. Wood posted a fifth-place finish in the 800 and a seventh in the 3200.

—In the Class AAAA track and field championships held at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany May 9-11, Baldwin High's Morgan Ruff placed fourth among girls throwing the shot put. Her toss was 37 feet, 4.5 inches. Sister Madison Ruff also had a top eight finish in the state meet coming in eight in the 400-meter dash.

The Ruffs qualified in two state events each. Morgan also threw the discus and placed 10th. Madison's was also a field event, the long jump, and she came in 10th there.

On the boys side for Baldwin High, Emanuel Dixon, distance runner, ran both the 1,600 meters for seventh place and the 800 meters for 11th.