Six of the eight girls from Forsyth County schools who qualified for last week’s state track and field championships in Albany placed in the top eight in their event.
Leading the way was Pinecrest Academy senior Sarah Gehling, who won her second consecutive Class A pole vault championship with a vault of 10 feet, 6 inches.
“[Ten feet, six inches] is her [personal] best and it ties the school record,” Pinecrest coach Shawn Coury said. “She is receiving interest from Brenau and Kennesaw State, but she’s undecided about what she wants to do. The good thing is that she has options.”
Gehling was tied with two other girls when the bar was raised to 10 feet, 6 inches, but she was the only athlete to clear her second attempt at that mark.
“The girl from Holy Innocents missed her third attempt and so she went out,” Coury said. “The girl from Bremen made her third attempt. She and Sarah missed their attempts at 11 feet, but Sarah was awarded the championship because she had less misses at 10-6.”
Pinecrest sophomore Jessica Zalzman ran her fastest time ever in the 1,600 meters (5:20.62) and placed third. Gehling and Zalzman combined to help Pinecrest finish 14th overall out of 40 Class A schools at the competition.
“[Jessica] was fourth with about 100 meters to go but put on a great charge to pass [Reed from Wesleyan] and get fourth by about a hundredth of a second,” Coury said.
“For [her and Sarah] to perform like they did says a lot for them and for our program.”
In Class AAAA, Savannah Smith of Lambert finished second in the high jump, going 5 feet, 2 inches. She tied two other athletes — Briana Brown of Woodland-Cartersville and Brittany Ealy of Ware County — who also cleared that height. The other Lady Longhorns representative at the meet, junior Leanne Zimmer, placed fourth in the 800 meters, finishing in a time of 2:19.37.
In Class AAAAA, North Forsyth junior Carlin Light placed third in the high jump, tying four other athletes by clearing 5 feet, 4 inches. North senior Alexis Osterloh also medaled, placing eighth in the pole vault with her best effort of the year — 8 feet, 6 inches.