LOGANVILLE -- The Gainesville boys pushed their way to the front of the pack, while four Flowery Branch athletes qualified for state sectionals on Wednesday in the Region 8-AAAAA track and field championships in Loganville.
The Red Elephants finished the second day of competition -- which was field event finals only -- with 46 points, just in front of Winder-Barrow's 44. Flowery Branch was seventh with 22 -- though all teams will have a chance to gain ground in Thursday's sprint and 3,200 meter finals. Flowery Branch's girls finished the day in fifth place, Gainesville eighth.
Colton Quinones led the way for Gainesville on Wednesday, bettering his already Class AAAAA-best discus throw of 159-feet with a hurl of 164-5 to win the region title.
He was joined by fellow Red Elephants standouts Hunter Mallard, who finished second in the pole vault (11-6), and Arthur Schouteeten, who took fourth in the pole vault (10-0). Cameron Drake also finished third in the triple jump (43-8).
The top four finishers in each event qualify for next Saturday's sectional meet -- which will also take place in Loganville.
Meanwhile, Flowery Branch was led by Alisha Parks and Isaac Mize, who each finished with silver medals, respectively -- Parks in the discus (112-2.5) and Mize in the high jump (6-2). Parks also took third in the girls shot put (32-3.5), while Joel Ryder was third in the boys shot (44-9).