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Mykal Hogue qualified fourth in the 1,600-meter run, and he will be needed again Friday as Cherokee looks to chase down Walton for a Region 4AAAAAAA title. Staff - Alex Resnak

WOODSTOCK -- Walton jumped out to an early lead on both sides after the first day of the Region 4AAAAAAA track meet Wednesday at Woodstock.

On the girls side, the Lady Raiders (42) pulled ahead of Cherokee (29), Etowah (28) and Lassiter (24), while Walton’s boys (55) lead Roswell (45), Cherokee (43) and Lassiter (38).

The Raiders also secured a meet-high eight sectional qualifiers Wednesday.

Javan Smalls won the boys long jump (21-08.5), while Lucas Witteveen was second in the pole vault. Alex Helms and Connor Old each qualified in the 1,600 in second and third, respectively.

Walton’s girls were led by Abigail Robertson and Sarah Burwell, who finished second and third in the 1,600.

Cherokee’s Fayola Louis jumped 36-01.5 to win the triple jump, while Jasmin Walker threw 105-08.5 to win the discus.

Corbin McCrary threw 49-02.5 to win the boys shot put, ahead of teammate Grant Dubiel in fourth, and Carter Speaks was second in the high jump. The Warriors also had another pair of fourth-place qualifiers in Anthony D’Angelo (long jump) and Mykal Hogue (1,600).

Lassiter’s boys were led by Gabe Weatherby, who jumped 6-02 to win the high jump, Myles Marshall was second in the long jump, and Eitan Ventura qualified third in the pole vault. Olivia Helmly was second in the discus to lead Lassiter’s girls, while Eliana Erickson was third in the triple jump.

Etowah’s Fisher Gibson qualified fourth in the boys pole vault after winning a tiebreaker, and Ameer Salame did the same in the high jump. Coe Sutphin qualified third in the shot put.

Madison was second in the triple jump. Emani Smart was third in the discus, and Makenna Calbert was fourth in the 1,600 to round out Etowah’s girls qualifiers.

Brynne Sumner won the 1,600 by nearly 10 seconds to be Woodstock’s girls’ only qualifier, while Chadwick Bracewell qualified third in the high jump on the boys side.

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