Bailee Williams wins state shot put title

May 10—ROME — Bailee Williams finishes her high school athletic career in first place. The Tift County High senior won the state shot put title for Class 6A Thursday, breaking her own school record in the process.

Perfect Timing's breakdown of each competitor's throw show Williams' first throw of 41-2 would have been enough for the title. Williams hit that distance against in her fourth attempt, but then she tried again. On attempt No. 5, Williams threw 43-1.5, to set a new school record.

Williams set the Tift County mark earlier this year with a toss of 42-even at a Lowndes quad meet.

She is the first Tift athlete to win gold at the state meet since Katie Utley did in pole vault in 2013. Williams placed eighth last year, sixth in 2022 and 11th as a freshman.

Second place at the 2024 state 6A meet went to Langston Hughes' Jasmine Baxter, whose best throw was 40-5. Baxter won over Williams at this year's sectional.

Antonio Burgess lost a chance to point in the 110 hurdles finals after qualifying fifth in the preliminary.

Nairobi Graham barely missed being in the finals in the 400. Her time of 57.67 seconds was ninth, one-quarter of a second behind eighth place Ashari Pearson of New Manchester. Graham was 11th in the 200.

Jalon Miller, the only other Blue Devil to compete individually, was 10th in the 400 boys prelims.

Tift had two relay teams at state: Graham, Caitlyn Burgess, Taliyah Thomas and Diamond Wallace. They were in the 4x200 and 4x100. The former saw them 10th at 1:45 and they were 11th in the latter in 48.82 seconds.