Boys track proud of regular season accomplishments

Despite+a+less+successful+performance+at+the+state+track+meet+than+the+boys+would+have+hoped%2C+there+were+still+some+accomplishments+including+senior+Xavier+Sessoms+%28pictured%29+placing+6th+in+the+high+jump%2C+junior+Everett+Schroeder+placing+5th+in+the+800+and+senior+Fred+Hamilton+placing+7th+in+the+400+and+the+300+Hurdles.+

Del Ellerton

Despite a less successful performance at the state track meet than the boys would have hoped, there were still some accomplishments including senior Xavier Sessoms (pictured) placing 6th in the high jump, junior Everett Schroeder placing 5th in the 800 and senior Fred Hamilton placing 7th in the 400 and the 300 Hurdles.

William Randall

The boys track team capped off a successful regular season with a disappointing state meet performance. 

The Knights set a high bar for themselves, but due to uncontrollable factors, such as senior Jackson Sexton’s hamstring injury, the team did not perform to its satisfaction. 

 “We came into the season with a lot of expectations of doing well at the end of the season,” head coach Delbert Ellerton said. “We had a number of unfortunate things happen, like the injury to Jackson.” 

Junior Everett Schroeder, who finished fifth in the 800 meters, also noticed the unfavorable circumstances the Knights were put under going into the state meet. 

“As a team, the meet didn’t really go as we hoped,” Schroeder said. “We had higher expectations, and due to some unfortunate things, like injuries, we fell short.”

In particular, Sexton’s injury was a turning point in the meet, according to senior Fred Hamilton, who finished seventh in the 400 and 300 hurdles.

“It was a big factor for points,” Hamilton said of Sexton, who will be running at Georgia Tech next year. “We could’ve placed really well in the 4×400 if we had him there.”

Although the meet was unsuccessful compared to others, Ellerton said getting to the state competition in the first place was an achievement.

“It’s always good to get kids to the state meet; that in and of itself is an accomplishment,” Ellerton said. “But it’s a little disappointing when you have a particular goal and you fall short.”

Schroeder also felt good about competing at the meet with Grady as  one of the smallest teams in attendance. 

“I’m definitely proud,” Schroeder said. “Compared to other teams at state, we had a super small team. To be able to make it and still perform as we did was still nice.”

According to Schroeder,  sophomore Devin Tabourn was one of the key contributors to the team, despite his late entry into the season. 

“One person that really stepped up was Devin,” Schroeder said. “He missed the first couple months of the season because of Covid precautions. But, he came on as one of our 4×800 people and got to be on the second-fastest leg and ran really well.”

Ellerton said Schroeder was also a key contributor to the Knights’ state meet performance. 

“We had Everett finish fifth in the 800 meters, which is a big deal,” Ellerton said. “He was only moved into the 800 really late in the season, and to basically make the podium in an event that is predicated on speed says a lot.”

Ellerton was also impressed by senior Xavier Sessions’ performance at the meet.

“We had a sixth-place finish in the high jump from Xavier Sessions, and this was his first year doing high school track,” Ellerton said. “To do that and be the sixth in the state says a lot.”

While the team may not have performed in the meet as well as it had hoped, Hamilton was proud of the individual strides he made this year.

“This year was kind of my first time really going to state; so, that was definitely a great experience and nice way to finish off the season,” Hamilton said.

As Hamilton graduates from Grady and moves on to run collegiate track at Howard University, he hopes to instill the lessons he learned while at Grady.

“[Grady] has instilled a super hard work ethic,” Hamilton said. “They really emphasized that if you train hard, you’ll see the results eventually.”

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