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New queen: Burnett leads Peachtree Ridge to first county title

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Peachtree Ridge's Sonikqua Walters runs during the girls 400 meter run Thursday. Walters placed first in the event.

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Peachtree Ridge's Sonikqua Walters runs during the girls 400 meter run Thursday. Walters placed first in the event.

HOSCHTON -- Autumnn Burnett wasn't a factor at last year's Gwinnett County Track and Field Championships.

The Peachtree Ridge hurdler wanted to change that.

Burnett spent the preseason doing extra pushups and situps in her room in addition to track workouts.

The result was county titles in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles Thursday at Mill Creek.

"I didn't do too good at county last year," Burnett said. "I've been working hard this year. Hard work pays off."

Burnett broke her own school records of 14.41 seconds in the 100 hurdles and 44.32 in the 300 hurdles.

"That's big for her," Peachtree Ridge coach Venson Elder said. "That young lady has had a long road battling injuries her freshman year. I'm very proud of her."

Those wins, along with Sonikqua Walters' victory in the 400, propelled Peachtree Ridge to the county championship. The Lions also got a county title in the 1,600 relay.

The Lions scored 120 points to claim their first county championship.

"Last year we had a chance to win," Elder said. "So we wanted to come back and win it this year."

Collins Hill, which won eight county titles in a row before the streak was snapped last year, was second with 103.5 points. Defending county champion Parkview had 96 points for third place.

Peachtree Ridge entered Day 2 of the meet in third place and only 5.5 points out of first.

The Lions trailed Parkview all day until Burnett won her second event. Lauren Kelly added to the team total with a runner-up finish in the 3,200-meter run. Brookwood's Caroline Kissel, a state runner-up last year, won the two-mile with a time of 11 minutes, 18.54 seconds.

Walters beat out Grayson's Jacqueline Obi in the 400, but the junior returned the favor in the 200. Obi had a time of 24.66 seconds to win the 200 to edge Walters.

Obi was one of two county winners for Grayson along with Jasmine Abrams, who won the county title in the 100 with a time of 12.17 seconds.

Sydney Williams was Collins Hill's only county champion. The senior won the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 20.58 seconds. She beat out Brookwood's QuanDra Shanks and teammate Vicky Winslow.

North Gwinnett won the 3,200-meter relay with a time of 10 minutes, 1.72 seconds and Parkview took the 400 relay with a time of 49.11 seconds.


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