Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Chapel Hill coach Kelly Williams said her team is excited about the start of the Region 5-AAAA Track and Field Championship at Sandy Creek High.

With the Region 5-AAAA Track and Field Championships starting on Tuesday, Chapel Hill has plans to defend its titles with some returning and new talent.

The two-day meet will take place at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone.

“(The students) are pretty excited and anxiously awaiting,” Chapel Hill track coach Kelly Williams said. “They’ve been waiting all year long. Region championships are first. We’re just going to take it one step at a time. From there we’ll know what the next step is.”

Last year the Panthers walked away from their region competition with the girls winning a championship and the boys coming in third. Chapel Hill then moved on to state where the girls finished in third place overall and the boys finished in the top 10.

The team is lead by junior Kyla Alexander, the two-time defending 100-meters hurdle champion. Along with running her individual events, Alexander will also join Angel Amadi (senior), Aliyah Sangster (senior) and Kendria Edouard (senior) in the 400 relay team.

“She wants to defend her title,” Williams said. “Kayla is a competitor. She’s done a tremendous job this year I have to really complement how hard she has worked. She’s been trying to coach up some of the freshman, taking them under her wing. She may be the first kid (at Chapel Hill) to get more than three titles in a high school career.”

Joy Scott and Zaria White are newcomers to the Panthers’ track and field squad, but they can hold their own. Scott, a freshman, has back-to-back times with Amadi, who signed with Louisville, on the 100–meters dash. Amadi leads Scott by .8 seconds. White runs the mile event with a 5:40 time, a time that is steadily improving.

“(Scott and White) are pretty fun to watch,” said Williams.

Kendria Edouard, who signed with Georgia Tech, is coming off of an injury to her shin bone.

“We’re hoping that she can perform close to her time,” Williams said. “She’s back up. She’s running really well. She’s a part of our 4x1. I think she’s going to come back fine. She’s a significant factor along with (Sangster).”

Edouard will also participate in the 4x4 relay, 400 and 800-meters dash. Edouard’s current time is less than a second off of her time before her injury.

 “Obviously on paper and on the internet and on the AJC we look pretty solid,” Williams said. “But in the region we have some stiff competition from Sandy Creek, especially on the boys’ side. There’s some talent spread amongst the schools. You know, it’s a pretty solid little region meet.”

Junior Jermaine Anderson, the top discus and shot put thrower in the state, is projected to do well. As well as 800-meter runner Michael Daniels.

The Panthers also look strong in the sprints with senior Jadon Walker and  junior Tyre Shelton.

Besides Chapel Hill and Sandy Creek, Cartersville, LaGrange, Troup, Cedartown and Central-Carrollton will be competing.

“You can look at all the facts and statistics,” Williams said. “You can look at what the best kid has jumped and what this kid has jumped or what this kid ran.

“But when it comes down to it on the day of the meet you have to compete and so do they and everyone is going to be nervous. We just have to perform to the best of our ability. That’s what we know we have to do.”

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