Girls Track Faces Stiff Competition in 6AAAA: Return to old region brings familiar foesSunday, March 13, 2011 By Justin Cain
The Lady Raiders kicked off the season with a meet against South Cobb and Washington and is looking for success this year as the team comes together for one goal. ``Our senior and some junior runners are helping the team come together and show the maturity that the team is going to need so we can go farther this year,” said junior runner Taylor Westly. First, the Lady Raiders have to deal with several-time state champion Southwest DeKalb and the likes of Redan, Tucker and other tough competition as the team returned to its traditional Region 6AAAA, composed of DeKalb’s track powers. Six of the top 10 girls teams in Class AAAA are in Region 6, with Southwest DeKalb opening as the preseason No. 1 team. “Our region always proves to be challenging at times, but we overcome and compete at our best which has proven to work,’’ said Westly. The season got off to a slow start as the team was still awaiting the arrival of head coach Betty Perkins and some members from the state playoffs girls basketball team. ``Many people on the team right now are still doing other activities or sports, but we have many new people that are conditioning with us,’’ Westly said. One such athlete is Chasity Pate, who is running for the first time for the team. ``This is my first time trying to run with the track team,’’ said Pate. ``I am used to doing basketball, but I wanted to try something new since I was not able to play basketball this year. I wanted to challenge myself.” The team members all have different expectations for the season, but the one goal they all share is a desire to compete for a state championship and to win the city meet, which will be held the end of this month. I expect the track team to go on to state again and [to] win first place in the Atlanta Classic,’’ said junior Nefertiti Cambrice. The team has upcoming meets, including the Bob Hayes Invitational in Florida on Mar. 19 and the Taco Bell Classic over spring break in South Carolina.