Repeat in sight for Collins Hill
Eagles girls track team again heads to Albany as one of state's favorites

Collins Hill's run as region champions in girls track and field ended last week when Peachtree Ridge snapped the Eagles' seven-year run.

It was a minor hiccup in Collins Hill's season as the Eagles go into today's girls state track and field championship in Albany as one of the favorites to claim the Class AAAAA title.

"Things didn't work out for region, but we're still following the same script for state," Collins Hill coach Andrew Hudson said. "I don't think they're thinking about region. I think that is kind of in the past."

Peachtree Ridge edged Collins Hill by three points to win the Region 7-AAAAA title. However, Collins Hill may field a stronger team against the state's best than its own region, which is among the strongest in Georgia.

"That's the beauty of track and field. It's a different meet and competition," Hudson said. "It's all about how your points play out."

Three-time defending state champion Collins Hill, Redan and Westlake are expected to battle for the top three spots. Peachtree Ridge, Grayson and Parkview could score some big points as well.

"It's a totally different ball game. I look at the state meet as totally different," Peachtree Ridge coach Tomy Sitton said. "You're not taking an entire team and you're facing the cream of the crop."

Collins Hill's major point scorer is defending 1,600- and 3,200-meter state champion Amanda Winslow. The Eagles also feature defending 800 champion Nicky Akande and a 1,600 relay team that is among the state's best.

"I feel like we can score a lot of points," Hudson said. "We're pretty solid in some events and iffy in some. Amanda's points are pretty solid."

Tuggle's spring not over

Greater Atlanta Christian's Jessica Tuggle will end a busy spring semester with an active weekend in Albany.

Tuggle, the daughter of former Atlanta Falcon Jesse Tuggle, has juggled tennis and track and field this spring.

The junior led the Spartans to a state runner-up finish in tennis last weekend and will compete in four events at the state meet this week. Tuggle took second in the long jump last season and is a title contender this week. She will compete in the 100 hurdles - an event she took third in last season - the triple jump and the 400 relay.

Tuggle is one of three Spartans to qualify for state, joining Lauren Kester and Claire Goodson. Kester is a state title favorite in the 1,600 and 3,200 in Class AA, and Goodson has the top pole vault mark in AA this season.

Wolves look to build on region title at state

Wesleyan has put together the best season in track and field in its program's history.

The Wolves won the Region 7-A title, the first in school history, and qualified 11 individuals and one relay team. The large number of qualifiers should help Wesleyan compete for the Class A title.

"We're excited about the number of qualifiers that we have, but the girls recognize that it's difficult to make it to the finals and score at the state meet," Wesleyan coach Candler Baxley said. "We feel like we are one of the teams that has a chance to go top four and get one of the trophies."

Three-sport standout Anne Marie Armstrong can add to her legacy this weekend. The Georgia-bound basketball player has six team state championships in volleyball and basketball. She's also the two-time defending state champ in the high jump. Armstrong will also compete in the shot put, discus and 400 relay.

Chantel Kennedy is back to defend her 400-meter state title and Erika Ramsey, a state champion in cross country last season, is the favorite in the 1,600 and 3,200.

SideBar: Track & Field

· What: Girls state track and field championships

· When: Today-Saturday

· Where: Hugh Mills Stadium, Albany

· Schedule:

· Today, 4 p.m.

· Friday, 9 a.m.

· Saturday, 12:15 p.m.

· Admission: $7 per day