Three local athletes win indoor track and field state titles
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2006
PRICEVILLE &8212; Adam Mims had been here before.
The senior long jumper from Spain Park had a chance to win the 6A boys state title in 2005 but scratched on his final leap and watched first place slip away.
On Friday afternoon, however, he wasn&8217;t about to allow the same thing to happen again.
Julio Jones of Foley had led the boys&8217; long jump for most of the day with a jump of 23 feet before Mims took the runway for his final leap. Having scratched his first two jumps in the final run, Mims knew he had to concentrate.
&8220;I really prepared myself mentally,&8221; he said. &8220;I knew where my steps were going to be and just prayed that I would do my best.&8221;
Mims&8217; final leap was measured at 23 feet, 3 inches, giving him the boys&8217; state title in the long jump by more than three feet.
&8220;It came down to the last jump last year,&8221; he said. &8220;I didn&8217;t want to experience the same disappointment as last year.&8221;
Mims was not the only Shelby County athlete to earn a state title this weekend at Celebration Arena in Priceville.
Fellow Jaguar Chris Spear took first in the boys&8217; pole vault while Oak Mountain&8217;s James Hope took the title in the 55-meter dash.
Spear blew out the competition in his event with a vault of 15 feet, three inches &8212; more than three feet higher than the closest competitor.
The Eagles&8217; James Hope was ranked second coming into the 55-meter finals Saturday behind Brandon Spradley of Leflore. But Hope was able to edge Spradley at the line, winning the state title at the wire with a time of 5.5 seconds.
Spain Park&8217;s Ryan Bell continued to perform big for the Jags Friday afternoon, finishing second in the shot put with a throw of 51 feet, seven inches.
The Oak Mountain Eagles had nine top 10 finishes, including Hope&8217;s title run in the 55-meters.
Ross Laporte took home seventh place in the 800-meter with a time of 2:03.87 while teammate Joe Gibson finished eighth in the 1600-meters in a time of 4:35.21.
OMHS&8217;s Taylor Crane and James Adair and Pelham&8217;s Colin Scott placed in the top
10 in the 3200 meter. Crane finished fifth with a time of 10:01.11; Adair sixth with a time of 10:05.11 and Scott ninth in 10:27.70.
The Eagles&8217; Brad Passen and Zac Epperson finished fourth and sixth behind Spear in the pole vault. Passen&8217;s best vault topped out at 13 feet, six inches while Epperson finished at a height of 13 feet even.
The Spain Park boys&8217; 4×400 relay team finished ninth in the event with a time of 3:44.21 while Oak Mountain&8217;s 4×400 squad finished close on the Jags&8217; heels in 10th place with a time of 3:44.39.
The Eagles&8217; 4×800 relay team finished fifth with a time of 8:30.54 while the Jags&8217; team finished in 8:48.55 in the event.
Thompson&8217;s Tucker Taylor was the top finisher for the Warriors at the meet, finishing eight in the 55-meter hurdle prelims with a time of 8.47 seconds.
The Spain Park boys team finished sixth in team scoring with 28 points while the Eagle boys took home seventh with 19.5 points.
The Mountain Brook Spartan boys&8217; team took home the 6A state title with a score of 96.83 points.
Oak Mountain&8217;s Danielle Bailey was the top individual finisher for the girls&8217; 6A Shelby County athletes.
Bailey took home third place in the shot put with a throw of 30 feet, four inches.
Pelham&8217;s Brandi Robison took home fifth place in the event with a 30 foot, four inch toss.
Three county girls&8217; finished in the top 10 in the 400-meter dash, including Oak Mountain&8217;s Lindy Gfeller, Spain Park&8217;s Kathleen Walsh and Pelham&8217;s Sarah Sharman. Gfeller took fourth place with a time of one minute, .89 seconds; Walsh was ninth with a time of 1:03.59; and Sharman was 10th in 1:03.69.
Eagles&8217; Sarah Bond took 10th place in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.41 seconds while her teammate Mary Grace DeCastra finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, four inches.
OMHS&8217;s Sarah Richardson and Hannah Farmer finished fourth and sixth in the girls&8217; high jump, respectively, with both athletes clearing the bar at four feet, 10 inches. The Panthers&8217; Sharman finished 10th in the event with a leap of four feet, eight inches.
Spain Park&8217;s Katie Quinn took home fifth place in the pole vault, clearing nine feet, six inches. Oak Mountain&8217;s Nataley Marquess vaulted seven feet for a ninth place finish.
Seven county relay teams broke into the top 10 at the meet. In the 4×200-meter race, Oak Mountain finished sixth with a time of 1:52.12 while the Lady Jags crossed the line in 10th in 1:56.53.
The Eagles&8217; girls finished third in the 4×400-meter dash with a time of 4:12.99. Spain Park was eighth in the event in a time of 4:27.15 while the Pelham Lady Panther squad was 10th with a time of 4:34.27.
OMHS&8217;s was the top county finisher in the 4×800-meter relay with a time of 10:41.90 while the Panthers finished 10th with a time of 11:07.83.
The Lady Eagles finished fifth in team scoring with 24.5 points while Spain Park and Pelham tied for 14th place with two points each.
The Hoover Lady Bucs took home the 6A girls&8217; state title with 103 points.
Briarwood Christian and Shelby County both had athletes place in the top 10 at the state meet.
The Lions&8217; Riley White was the top 5A county finisher, taking sixth place in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.37 seconds. White&8217;s teammate Will Noel finished seventh in the pole vault with a leap of nine feet, six inches while the Lions&8217; Andrew Price took home 10th in the 1600-meter with a time of 5:00.74.
Briarwood&8217;s 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams both took home top 10 finishes, earning ninth and sixth respectively. Shelby County had two relay squads finish well. The Wildcats&8217; 4×400 team took 10th place with a time of 4:14.53 while the 4×800 squad also finished 10th with a time of 9:48.39.
The top individual finisher for the Wildcats was Kullen Williams, who finished 11th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.04.
The Briarwood boys finished the meet tied with Gardendale and Pinson Valley for ninth place with two points.
Briarwood Christian&8217;s top finisher was Kelsey Dunn in the long jump, finishing in seventh place with a leap of 14 feet, three inches.
The Lady Lions&8217; 4×200 relay team finished ninth in a time of 2:08.50.
On the boys&8217; side, Vincent&8217;s Parish Spates took home 17th for the Yellow Jackets in the 55-meter hurdles in 12.77 seconds while Montevallo&8217;s Patrick Gilmore finished fourth in the preliminaries of the 55-meter dash with a time 5.88 seconds. Gilmore did not finish in the finals round.
Vincent&8217;s Simone Robertson took home 10th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:12.29 while Montevallo&8217;s Whitney Farrington finished seventh in the 55-meter dash with a time of 8.03 seconds