You could tell something or someone special was going on in the Lions Den Saturday afternoon. On a normal day, clear skies and seasonable warm temperatures in March are all that is needed to get ATLiens outside. This time the special guest was another one of Westlake’s favorite sons, there are so many, Christian Coleman hosting the annual track and field invitational that bears his name.

Coleman, fresh off winning the World Indoor 60 meter dash Championship, returned to his old stomping grounds as a message to the participants. The event world record holder (6.34 seconds, 2018) reflected fondly on his time at the Fulton County school in the southern half of the county and what it meant for him to be able to sponsor the event. “I have vivid memories of going to school here,” said Coleman.”The community and the sport of track and field has afforded me a lot of opportunities and done a lot for me so I feel like this is kind of my obligation and my opportunity to be able to give back and provide for others in the sport and to be able to just like coming back and run and be visible and show the kids like what’s possible and let them know that certain things are tangible.”

Christian Coleman taking in the action at the Christian Coleman Invitational.

From Indoors to Outdoors

Despite winning the title, the Atlanta native has unfinished business on the outdoor circuit. He used the 60 meter competition as a tune-up for the run at Olympic gold. “It’s part of the process it’s like what I needed to feel like running against the best guys in the world and then I will know what I need to do to keep capitalizing and be at my best outdoors,” explained Coleman.

The next step for the sprinter towards that goal is the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR June 21-30. Team USA is believed by many in the sport to be the most difficult to make. A record-setting 13 gold medals in the 2022 Track and Field World Championship is proof enough. Coleman made the team in 2016 qualifying in both the 100 meters and 200 meter. Since then, he has been a 3x gold medalist in the World Outdoor Championship winning the 100 m dash in Doha (2019) and as a member of the 4×100 meter relay team at Doha and last year in Budapest. A missed drug test led to his suspension in 2020 and a missed opportunity in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

In his absence, Noah Lyles ascended the ranks to become the top sprinter winning gold in both the 100 meters and 200 meters at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. As he was at 60 meters indoors, Lyles is Coleman’s primary competition in the 100 meters. “I feel like I’m one of the best in the world too,” said Coleman brimming with confidence. “If I just stay focused on my own process I know I’ll be there in the end.”

Girls Competition

Coleman watched the Westlake Girls team dominate the meet with 105 points. The Lady Lions picked up 30 points for three first-place finishes in the 4×200 meter relay, high jump (Zion Lockette), and triple jump (Alexia Brown). Thrower Paris Moore added 10 points with a second-place finish in the shot put and a seventh-place finish in the discus. Danayja Harper finished 0.05 seconds behind Kennedy Myers, Lakeside -Evans, to take second place. Teammate Zaniyah Jones finished sixth. Caylie Jefferson, Gabrielle Carter, and Zhai Holmes contributed 12 points from their 4-5-6 place finish in the long jump.

Three first-place finishes helped pace the Woodward Academy girls to second place with 86 points. Madison Gardner and Kenyah Conner won the 400 meter and 800 meter respectively. The duo was instrumental in pacing the 4 x 400 meter relay team to a commanding victory. In the field events, Jensen Warnick led a trio of Eagles to a 2-3-4 finish in the pole vault.

Hillgrove’s Lady Hawks claimed third thanks to a top finish by Morgan Gordon in the long jump and a dominating performance in the 4×800 meter relay. The Lady Hawks picked up chunks of points thanks to multiple point earners in the 1600 meter run, high jump, long jump, and 200 meter dash. Adelaide Ellis finished second in the 1600 meter run followed by Isabelle Hall in fifth for 13 points. Laila Thomas and Adaeze Ezegbo finished third and seventh in the high jump. Ryan Davis and Amare Garrett finished fourth and eighth in the 200 meter dash.

Boys Competition

Competition was tighter on the boy’s side. Shiloh picked up five points in the 3200 meter run to give them a three-point margin of victory over McEachern. First-place finishes in the 4×200 meter relay and the 4×800 meter relay, along with Marcus Thompson’s win in the triple jump paced the Generals.

McEachern kept pace with Shiloh despite only one first and second-place finish. They had a shot at overtaking Shiloh on the final event of the day, the 4×400 meter relay. Their third-place finish only managed to gain two of the five points they needed to tie the Generals.

Three second-place finishes in the 4×100 meter relay, 4×200 meter relay, and the 4×400 meter relay anchored a third-place finish for the Westlake boys. The Lions got their only win of the day on a respectable throw by Chase Story of 146 ft-06 in.

Top Performances – Best in the State


Floyd Samuels, Jr, Norcross HS, won the 200m 21.22 s
Joseph Jacquot, Westminster School, 1600 m, 4:16.04


Sole Frederick, Druid Hills, 100 m, 11.43 s (wind 0.6)
Sole Frederick, Druid Hills, 200 m, 23.27 s
Kennedy Myers, Lakeside – Evans, 100 m Hurdles, 13.52 s (wind 0.8)
Madison Townsend, Pole Vault, 13′ 2.25”
Druid Hills, 4×100 m relay, 44.84 s
Woodward Academy, 4×400 m relay, 3:43.30


Place Boys Pts Girls Pts
1 Shiloh 68 Westlake 105
2 McEachern 65 Woodward Academy 86
3 Westlake 58 Hillgrove 71
4 Westminster 54 Westminster 66
5 Newton Boys 52 Druid Hills 64
6 ML King 47 McEachern 54
7 Grovetown 43 Landmark Christian 45
8 Landmark Christian 36 Norcross 37
9 Woodward Academy 34 Newton 27
10 Norcross 32 Lakeside Evans 25
2024 Christian Coleman Invitational