Just weeks before the state-qualifying meet, GPS senior Tory Kemp suffered a hamstring injury. Any lingering doubts about her recovery were answered when she won five Division II individual state championships, including four in one day. Three days after winning the grueling pentathlon, the North Carolina signee won state titles in the long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles. In winning all five events she entered, the state maximum, Kemp also set school records in four events.
"In my 23 years of coaching the sport, Tory has to stand at the top with the best athletes I've ever seen," GPS coach Stacey Hill said. "Sometimes as a senior there's a tendency to take off a little bit, but she set a school record in the last event she ran [300 hurdles], so that says something about how competitive and driven she is to excel."
In Hill's third year since taking over the GPS program again, the Bruisers won every meet in which they competed during the regular season and qualified 18 athletes for the Division II state meet and had competitors in 12 of the 18 events. Seven girls claimed seven first-place finishes as the Bruisers were state runners-up for a third straight year.
With two events remaining, GPS had a one-point lead over Brentwood Academy, but the Lady Eagles took first, second and third in the next event to take the lead for good.
"Brentwood Academy just had a little more depth than us, but I was very pleased with the way our team performed," Hill said. "We held them off until the last two events, and our team's competitiveness really showed up."
Junior sprinter Destinee Lansden won both the 100 and 400 meters, and senior Tory Kemp won five events.
She finished third in the AAA pentathlon and was in the state 100, 100 hurdles and 4x100 relay.
She was second in the Division II shot put and competed in the state meet also in the discus.
She qualified for the Class A/AA state meet in the 100, as well as the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
She won the state triple jump, finished second in the long jump and helped relay teams qualify.
She won the Division II 100 and 400 and was fourth in the 200 for the state runners-up
She finished third at the Class A/AA state meet in the 200 and fourth in the long jump.
She tied for third in the D-II state high jump and qualified also in long jump and triple jump.
She was second in the state 300 hurdles, fourth in the pentathlon and on two winning relays.
Lil Bradbury Gordon Lee Senior
Kayla Gash Cleveland Senior
Kate Kaufman Baylor Sophomore
Katelyn Lee Gordon Lee Sophomore
Jaleesa Poindexter GPS Junior
Selena Popp Baylor Freshman
Deronesha Smartt Howard Junior
Haley Ward McMinn County Junior
Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad Cleveland Junior
Leondra Barrett Ooltewah Junior
Alicia Colbert Central Sophomore
Beka Day Cleveland Junior
Jasmine Fritz Central Sophomore
Marissa Langford Cleveland Sophomore
Tiana Mills GPS Junior
Paige Elliott Baylor Senior
GPS: The Bruisers qualified 18 athletes for the Division II state meet and claimed seven first-place finishes to finish as state runners-up.
Baylor: The Lady Red Raiders qualified 16 athletes for the D-II state meet, claimed two first-place finishes and finished third as a team.
Central: The team had five individuals or relay teams that qualified for the Class A/AA state meet.