Tuesday afternoon was the first day region track meet competitors could qualify for the state competition and four Tiger track standouts qualified.
Shaquille Russell, Chris Young, Jonathan Blair and Anthony Motley earned their bid to the 2009 GHSA state meet May 8-10 in Jefferson.
Russell took first place in the region in the shot put and discus throw. Although he’s only in his first year of track Young took second in the shot put. Blair earned the spot with a second place finish clearing 6’4" in the high jump. Motley finished second in the Region in the 3200 meter run.
Marsalis Jackson, a freshman, placed well and took third in the long jump.
"The Tigers have a chance to win their third region championship in a row," Track coach DeAndre Davis said. "We control our own destiny and all the hard work and dedication is paying off."
The finals for the running events will take place on Tuesday.
"Assistant coach Brain Williams has done an excellent job with the distance runners," Davis said about getting the runners ready for region. "Running in Camden, Statesboro and Atlanta, has really prepared the guys for the task at hand. I can’t be any more proud of the kids. We want to win this one for the seniors."
Davis said Russell has been the backbone of the track team and the team leader who will be truly missed when he heads for college in the fall.
Russell, who signed a few weeks ago with Concordia to play football, just signed a secondary scholarship with the school for track.
"We knew every meet that he would get us twenty points," Davis said about Russell. "The meet in Statesboro and the one in Atlanta was a humbling experience for him. He has really stepped his game up. He will be missed when he attends college next fall. Someone like Shaquille is hard to replace."
Just two weeks after signing to play football for the Concordia University Bulldogs, Tiger athlete Shaquille "The Shaq attack" Russell penned his name to a second scholarship from the university, placing him on the Bulldog’s track squad.
On Tuesday, Russell qualified for the GHSA boys’ state meet for the Tigers after finishing first in region 3-AAAAA’s shotput and discus throw competition.
Russell said he plans to be the school’s next track athlete to get All-American honors.
"I’m going to do my best out there and show them that I can do what they did," he said.
"They are losing a lot of All-Americans throwers and he will have the opportunity to immediately come in and grow with the program," Russell’s father Edward said. "It’s a blessing that he gets to play in both sports."
"I think it’s a wonderful opportunity," DeAndre Davis, Bradwell’s track coach said. "He is one of the most talented kids on our track team."
Davis said Russell is the nucleus of the Tiger squad and usually provides the squad with 20 points at meets. He said he will be hard to replace but knows Russell will get the job done at the next level.
"Shaq has the potential," he said. "The sky is the limit for him."