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Big day for LaGrange track team

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

LaGrange High’s Kale Gibbs has been leaving the competition behind all season in the hurdle events, and he has established himself as a legitimate state-championship contender.

As Gibbs showed during Thursday’s LaGrange Toyota

Granger Invitational, he can get it done without hurdles on the track as well.

Gibbs ran the 100-meter dash for the first time this season, and he sprinted to the top spot, finishing a fraction ahead of Callaway’s Osiris Rivas.

Gibbs also won both of the hurdle events, and he was a member of the 400-meter relay team that finished first.

Gibbs finished the 100 with a time of 11.28 seconds, while Rivas (11.50 seconds) and Troup’s Zay Moreland (11.55 seconds) were close behind.

“This was my first time running the 100 this season, so I hadn’t gotten a chance to see how fast I was,” Gibbs said. “I was racing with a time from last year, so I had no idea what I was going to come with.”

Gibbs’ big day was part of a dominant performance for LaGrange, with the boys’ and girls’ team both finishing first.

Another LaGrange runner, Aaron Fritchley, also earned four first-place finishes, and overall the boys’ team placed first 11 times.

LaGrange’s girls’ team, meanwhile, had eight first-place finishes, with twin sisters Zamya Rhaney and Zanay Rhaney combining for five wins.

For Gibbs, and all of the LaGrange athletes, it was a relief to get to this point after what happened last year.

The season ended in the middle of March because of COVID-19, and it looks like this season will make it to the end.

Gibbs was among the fastest hurdlers in the state last season, and he was denied the opportunity to compete for a championship.

Gibbs, who was an all-state football as a running back during the fall, has been leaving the competition behind on the track.

On Thursday, Gibbs won the 110-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles and the 100-meter dash, and he ran the second leg on the winning 400-meter relay team.

While Gibbs is an elite sprinter, he specializes in the hurdles, and he’s hoping to end his senior season with a spot at the top of the podium.

“It’s a great feeling to try to bring a trophy back to LaGrange that will sit in the halls forever,” Gibbs said.

Another standout from Thursday was Aaron Fritchley, who finished the day with four first-place medals.

Fritchley won the 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run, and he was on the winning 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter relay teams.

Nathan Fritchley, meanwhile, won the 3,200-meter run and was also on the victorious 3,200-meter relay team.

Aaron and Nathan, who are twin brothers, were also standout performers in cross country and are now getting it done in track. Nathan Fritchley enjoyed watching his brother accumulate an impressive collection of first-place medals on Thursday.

“Aaron’s the best,” Nathan said.

Other individual winners for LaGrange included Kobe Jones (high jump) and Christian Ector (pole vault), and the team won all three of the relay events.

The Grangers were successful in events across the board, emphasizing the team’s overall depth.

“We’ve really grown as a team in all areas, sprinting, distance, field events,” Nathan Fritchley said.

One of the day’s highlights for the Grangers came in the 400-meter relay, with Amos Scott, Gibbs, Tae Snead and Jones combining to post a time of 43.73 seconds, which was about one second faster than the Cavaliers.

Jones, who excelled in football and basketball for the Grangers, hadn’t competed in track before Thursday’s meet, but he didn’t show any stage fright.

Jones took the baton from Snead and brought things home for the Grangers.

“The whole week, coach (Thomas) Cox told me to be prepared for it, so I was. I was a little nervous, but I got the baton, and I just ran,” Jones said.

LaGrange also raced to the top spot in the 1,600-meter relay, with Donovan Fountain, Terry Franklin, Monta Martin and Aaron Fritchley teaming up for the victory.

In the 3,200-meter relay, Aaron Fritchley, Nathan Fritchley, Terry Franklin and Marcus Franklin raced to the top spot.

For the LaGrange girls’ team, Zanay Rhaney and Zamya Rhaney continued to shine.

Zamya Rhaney won the 3,200-meter run and the 1,600-meter run, while Zanay Rhaney finished first in the 800-meter run.

Those two were also members of the winning 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter relay teams.

Also earning individual wins for LaGrange were Ivorie Smith (400-meter dash), Isabella Sanchez (300-meter hurdles) and Katelyn Moore (triple jump).

In the 3,200-meter relay, Smith and Alyssa Rhaney teamed with Zamya Rhaney and Zanay Rhaney to finish first.

The winning 1,600-meter relay team was made up of Smith, Alyssa Rhaney, Zamya Rhaney and Zanay Rhaney.

LAGRANGE PLACERS

(Top three finishers in each event earned a medal)

GIRLS

FIRST

Ivorie Smith (400-meter dash)

Zanay Rhaney (800-meter run)

Zamya Rhaney (1,600-meter run)

Zamya Rhaney (3,200-meter run)

Isabella Sanchez (300-meter hurdles)

1,600-meter relay team (Ivorie Smith, Alyssa Rhaney, Zamya Rhaney, Zanay Rhaney)

3,200-meter relay team (Ivorie Smith, Zamya Rhaney, Alyssa Rhaney, Zanay Rhaney)

Katelyn Moore (triple jump)

SECOND

Ivorie Smith (200-meter dash)

Zamya rhaney (800-meter run)

Zanay Rhaney (1,600-meter run)

Zanay Rhaney (3,200-meter run)

400-meter relay team (Ivorie Smith, Jayla Lancaster, Katelyn Moore, Alyssa Rhaney)

Katelyn Moore (long jump)

Chloe Morman (pole vault)

1,600-meter relay (A’Dayshia Blakes, Brandasia Cofield, Madison Arrington, Isabella Sanchez)

THIRD

Isabella Sanchez (100-meter hurdles)

Isabella Sanchez (pole vault)

Nevaeh Boddie (shot put)

BOYS

FIRST

400-meter relay (Amos Scott, Kale Gibbs, Tae Snead, Kobe Jones)

1,600-meter relay (Donovan Fountain, Terry Franklin, Monta Martin, Aaron Fritchley)

3,200-meter relay (Aaron Fritchley, Nathan Fritchley, Terry Franklin, Marcus Franklin)

Kale Gibbs (110-meter hurdles)

Kale Gibbs (300-meter hurdles)

Aaron Fritchley (800-meter run)

Aaron Fritchley (1,600-meter run)

Nathan Fritchley (3,200-meter run)

Kobe Jones (high jump)

Christian Ector (pole vault)

SECOND

1,600-meter relay team

Amos Scott (200-meter dash)

Terry Franklin (800-meter run)

Tristan Smith (high jump)

Montavious Martin (long jump)

Jaylan Brown (discus)

THIRD

Tae Snead (200-meter dash)

Tristan Smith (400-meter dash)

Nathan Fritchley (1,600-meter run)

Montavious Martin (triple jump)

Carter Cook (pole vault)

Thadd Dixon (discus)