Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

JEFFERSON -- Dacula's Robert Harvey and Eli Mahaley came to the boys state track and field meet with hopes of sweeping the shot put and discus titles.

Harvey set the tone in the shot put with his first throw of the competition and Mahaley did the same in the discus as the duo claimed the Class AAAAA throwing events on Thursday.

"We said we wanted to sweep the state titles and that's what we came here to do," Harvey said. "I love it. We both came from the same school and are state champs."

Harvey won the shot put with a throw of 59 feet, 6 inches and Mahaley had a toss of 167-9 in the discus.

"I expected Robert to win," Mahaley said. "I just stepped up and did my best in the discus."

Harvey's first throw in the shot put was 59-5, giving him the No. 1 seed going into the finals.

"That was awesome," Mahaley said. "The first throw he beat the competition mentally. No one was expecting a 59-5. I'm happy for him."

East Paulding's Caleb Whitener provided the only real competition with a mark of 59-0, but couldn't overcome Harvey in the finals.

"His last throw I was holding my breath," Harvey said.

Harvey set personal records in three of his throws, including his last one that went 59-6. Mahaley finished fourth with a mark of 56-7.

Less than an hour later, Mahaley quickly took care of business in the discus. The senior tossed it 167-9 in his first attempt and that throw held to win the state title.

"Eli was not on all cylinders in the shot put, but he came back in the discus and did an excellent job," Dacula coach David Machovec said.

It was the first state meet for the Dacula duo, who were standout defensive linemen for the Falcons' football program the last two seasons.

"We wanted to go 1-2 and 1-2 (in both events), but fell short of our goal," Machovec said. "They both left with personal records, so that's a plus when you leave with a PR."

Gwinnett County took four of the top five spots in the discus. Peachtree Ridge's Carson Sears was second (162-7), Mill Creek's Tyler Cierski was third (160-1) and Harvey was fifth (147-9).

"It's definitely intense in Gwinnett," Sears said. "We have some of the top throwers in the state and only two from each region can advance. I think that competition kind of helps and gets us ready for state."

Sears was fifth in the shot put with a toss of 55-11 and Norcross' Max Garcia was eighth with a mark of 49-11.

Greater Atlanta Christian's Ryan Reynolds was eighth in Class AA with a throw of 135-5 in the discus.