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Bennett joins elite group
Liberty senior hits top mark in discus
Jovan Bennett
Liberty County senior Jovan Bennett already is a force to be reckoned with on the football field. He also was a force at the Region 2-AAAA track meet last week. Bennett placed first in the discus throw with a toss of 162 feet, 5 inches. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon

The Liberty County Panthers boys’ and girls’ track teams finished in fourth place at the Region 2-AAAA track meet April 22 at Statesboro High School.
One Panther, however, earned the national silver standard for his performance in the discus throw.
According to, Liberty County’s Jovan Bennett earned a first-place finish and the silver standard.
He qualified for the state meet and made the national elite team after tossing the discus 162 feet, 5 inches. The boys’ 4x100-meter relay team of Aaron Polite, Willis Bowman, Shadrach Thornton and Devin Helvie placed first with a time of 42.93 and will  head to the state meet as well.
Also qualifying for the state meet were Ajiah Lewis, who placed second in the girls’ 400 with a time of 1 minutes, 63 seconds; and the girls’ 4x100 relay team of Lewis, Nakyus Dean, Diamond Gadson and Chelsea Hale. The team turned in a time of 49.83 to finish second. 
Additionally, Jana Jones placed second in the shot put with a  throw of 36-6 1⁄2 feet to earn a trip to the state meet.

Girls’ results
100-meter dash: Diamond Gadson, 6th, 13.13.
200-meter dash: Chelsea Hale, 4th, 27.09.
400-meter dash: Ajiah Lewis, 2nd, 1:00.63.
1,600-meter run: Michelle Adams, 14th, 6:33.66.
3,200-meter run: Michelle Adams, 4th, 13:09.84.
100-meter hurdles: Nahtae Thompson, 7th, 18.84.
4x100-meter relay: Ajiah Lewis, Nakyus Dean, Diamond Gadson and Chelsea Hale; 2nd; 49.83.
4x400-meter relay: Nahtae Lewis, Chelsea Hale, Ajiah Lewis and Kristina Bodden; 8th; 4:27.15.
High jump: LaShai Richardson,  9th, 4-6.
Long jump: LaShai Richardson,  3rd, 17-5.

Triple jump: Britany Brown, 6th, 31-7.
Shot put: Jana Jones, 2nd, 36-6 1⁄2; Briannae Gadson, 3rd, 36-6.
Discus throw: Courtney Rhodes, 3rd, 113-3 3⁄4; Jana Jones, 4th, 112-10.
Team totals: Statesboro 114.5, Greenbrier 94, Lakeside, Evans 90.5, Liberty 75.5.

Boys’ results
100: Devin Helvie, 6th, 11.58.
200: Devin Helvie, 6th, 23.57;
400: Anthony Dabson,  7th, 54.06.
110 hurdles: Willis Bowman, 5th, 16.58.
300 hurdles: Willis Bowman, 8th, 44.72.
4x100: Aaron Polite, Willis Bowman, Shadrach Thornton and Devin Helvie; 1st; 42.93
High jump: Tabias Marion,  4th, 6-0.
Long jump: Shadrach Thornton, 3rd, 21-4 3⁄4.
Triple jump: Shadrach Thornton, 3rd, 42 feet, 9 ¾ inches.
Shot put: Jovan Bennett, 5th, 44-5.
Discus: Jovan Bennett, 1st, 162-1⁄2.
Team totals: Greenbrier 96, Statesboro 83, Effingham County 60, Liberty County 53.5.

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