Thursday February 11th, 2016 8:08AM

Track and Field: Booker, Gearing storm back from injury to open girls 7-AAA championships

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
DAWSONVILLE -- The last month might as well have been a year as far as West Hall's Maia Caldwell-Booker has been concerned.

The senior North Carolina-signee has not competed since the same hamstring injury that hampered last year cropped up again just after the season began.

She made up for lost time Wednesday at the Region 7-AAA track-and-field meet at Dawson County High School.

Booker finished second in the long jump and cruised to an easy victory in her 100-meter heat race.

"I felt pretty good," she said after the 100. "I was a little worried with two events that it might pop up again but everything was fine. It just felt great to get back out here and compete. It seemed like forever."

She advanced to Thursday's 100 finals and is looking to defend her 7-AAA title.

White County's Jenna Gearing was in the same situation as she got ready to defend her 1600-meter title. The sophomore phenom had not run since twisting an ankle while doubling on the Lady Warriors soccer team.

She responded by blowing away the field to take home her second straight region title. She didn't set a personal-best time in very windy conditions but started fast and pulled away on every lap.

She will run the 3200 on Thursday and is looking to try and complete the state trifecta for long-distance events. She won the state cross country title in October.

"That's been my goal," Gearing said. "The wind was tough and I wasn't totally sure how my ankle would do. It felt good to get out there and race."

Meanwhile, North Hall's Gabrielle Hoffman had a solid day winning the pole vault with a vault of 11-feet and also the triple jump with a leap of 33-6 1/2 to help the Lady Trojans take a Day 1 lead with 78.5 points.

The Lady Trojans' got contributions from throughout the day. Makayla Ellis finished third in the 1600 while Trinidad Puente won the long jump with a jump of 16-4, edging out Booker, and Harper Seymour won the shot put with a throw of 36-9 and the discus with a throw of 107-11.

White County is second with 57 and Buford is third with 52 points.

Kaitlyn Gearing, big sister of Jenna, won the high jump with a leap of 5-2 for the Lady Warriors.

The results of the field events and the 1600-meter run, along with the team standings, are listed below. The top four finishers in each event with move on to next week's Sectionals.

Team results after Day 1:

1. North Hall 78 . 50
2 White County 57
3 Buford 52
4 West Hall 37
5 Dawson County 26
6 Banks County 12
7 Fannin County 8 . 50

1600-meter run
1 Jenna Gearing, White Co., 5:22.98
2 Makayla Hewell, Banks Co.
3 Makayla Ellis, North Hall
4 Bailey Roberts, Buford

High Jump
1 Kaitlyn Gearing, White Co. 5-02.00
2 Dominique Martin, Buford
3 Mia Mckensey, West Hall
4 Isabelle Diaz, West Hall

Pole Vault
1 Gabrielle Hoffman, North Hall 11-00.00
2 Chloe Maddox, White Co.
3 Mary Seid, North Hall
3 Julie Jacobs, Fannin County

Long Jump
1 Trinidad Puente, North Hall 16-04.00
2 Maia Caldwell-Booker, West Hall
3 Marissa Bruce, Buford
4 Annie Goswick, North Hall

Triple Jump
1 Gabrielle Hoffman, North Hall 33-06.50
2 Chanell Simmons, White Co.
3 Olivia Bradley, North Hall
4 Tiffany Lyle, West Hall

Shot Put
1 Harper Seymour, North Hall 36-09.00
2 Brittany Poole, Buford
3 Kiki Mincey, Buford
4 Jarlissa Latimore, West Hall

1 Harper Seymour, North Hall 107-11
2 Savannah Haberkam, Dawson Co.
3 Zikaya Wright, Buford
4 Kiki Mincey, Buford
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