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State Track and Field notes: State title new for Lanier, but old hat for Valentine

Staff Photo: John Bohn Shiloh's Jeremy McDuffie competes in the triple jump during the boys state championship track and field meet held in Jefferson on Thursday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Shiloh's Jeremy McDuffie competes in the triple jump during the boys state championship track and field meet held in Jefferson on Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Reece Morrow wins the pole vault event with this jump of 14' during the boys state championship track and field meet held in Jefferson on Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Parkview's John Patterson throws the discus 156' for a second place finish in the discus throw during the boys state championship track and field meet is held in Jefferson on Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Jared Munday took second place in the shot put event during the boys state championship track and field meet is held in Jefferson on Thursday. Munday put the shot 52' 8."

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Reece Morrow won the pole vault event during the boys state championship track and field meet is held in Jefferson on Thursday. Morrow jumped 14' on this very last attempt. Here, Morrow fails an attempt at a higher jump after having won the event.

JEFFERSON -- If Devin Valentine seemed a little blase' after winning the Class AAAA triple jump title in Thursday's field even action at the Boys State Track and Field Championships, there's a reason for it.

It's not that the junior didn't appreciate the history of becoming the Longhorns' first state champion in any sport in the school's three-year history.

"It's a very humbling experience," Valentine said after recording a leap of 47-feet, 2 -inches to beat runner-up Kevin Williams of Monroe (Albany) by nearly a foot and a half.

But while Valentine is Lanier's first state champion, Thursday's title was not his first.

He won his classification's state title while a sophomore at Freeport High School in Freeport, Ill., a year ago before moving to Gwinnett County.

And his winning distance Thursday was below the 48-5 he jumped in winning that title, as well as his personal best of 48-10 that he set in the Region 8-AAAA championship two weeks ago.

"The biggest thing is, you always want to get better," Valentine said. "I did not jump to my full potential (Thursday), so although I'm happy, I'm not satisfied."

Hungry for a title

By becoming Buford's first pole vault state champion -- and the Wolves first state boys champion in any event since Matt Pridemore's Class AA title in 2007 -- David Curry satisfied one hunger when he cleared 14-0 to win the Class AAA title Thursday.

But it was another hunger that was on his mind when the competition was over.

Curry had been on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet for three weeks leading up to Thursday's championship, and was definitely looking to enjoy a good meal after he was done.

"I'm just relieved, and it feels very good," Curry said. "I worked hard this year. ... I'm going to have a feast. I'm going to eat a lot and get ready for football."