One of the downsides of large events like track and field is that we don't get the opportunity to showcase a lot of the local athletes that finished at or near the top of their respective events. So here are a handful of quotes from a few that didn't make it into Sunday's edition....
Battery Creek's Gretchen Brown, who took home the gold in the 100 hurdles:
"We've been training hard to do what we had to do to take state. (My expectation) was to win state all along."
"This is my first state title ever. I'm a senior. This is my first year doing hurdles, so to win state at something I just started doing makes me happy. ... All I could do was smile."
Ridgeland's Antoine Johnson, who took home the gold in 110 hurdles:
"It feels great. I worked hard for it. It was hard. Coming out the blocks, everybody was bumping shoulder-to-shoulder. The guy that was in the lead, me and him hit shoulders coming into the last hurdle. I used him to push off and pretty much take it."
"Last year I made it to Lower State but I finished fifth or sixth. This year I was pretty much No. 1 in 1-A the whole year. I just finished it up."
"I was in the blocks nervous. I didn't know how I was going to do, but I came out on top. My hands were shaking and everything. I said a prayer and just let it go from there."
Hardeeville's Ravon Grant, who helped the Hurricanes capture the gold in the 4x100.
"Last year was our first year actually running. We were state runner-up to the School of Deaf and Blind. This year, we just wanted to win it."
Added Raven Grant, who erased a fifth-place mark on the last turn:
"We couldn't come in second again. It had to be first or nothing. What I think what it was, I tied my shoes too tight so I tried to hurry up and (finish)."
Battery Creek's Justice Oliver, who earned a runner-up with a 45 feet, 4 inches showing in the triple jump:
"I just have to work harder. You've got to be the best to beat the best."
"I'm happy that I keep progressing in triple jump. My first year was last year, I jumped 42 feet. This year I progressed to 45 feet. Next year I'll be at 47."
Hilton Head High's Jack Manesiotis, who earned a second-place finish in both the 1,600 and 3,200:
"It was a good race. I wanted to win, but I was just tired. I'm just happy the season is over now. It's been a long season."
"It was real tactical. We went out slow, like 4:52 through the first mile. My goal going into the last three laps was to take off and try to sneak in. So I took off and (Daniel's Andre Ivankovic) tried to speed up with me. ... I started feeling heavy with a lap to go and I was kind of second-guessing whether I was going to hold him off or not. He came by with 200 to go and I just had nothing left."
"Cross country is most definitely my specialty, so I'm looking into having a big summer and coming on top in cross country."
Hilton Head High's Michael Julian, who helped lead the Seahawks to a second-place showing in the 4x400 relay:
"I just tried to get us out to a strong start. I didn't do anything all day. I jumped last night, that's all I did. Got a good night's rest, came out here. I wasn't going to do anything all day. I've been working very hard the past couple weeks on this 4x400."