Indoor champions: Persistence pays off for Adair and Sharman at state

Extra effort was the key for Oak Mountain&8217;s James Adair and Pelham&8217;s Sarah Sharman, as both captured state championships at the indoor track and field state meet.

Adair, an underdog to spectators, was pushed to the front for the Eagles after injuries plagued their top two 3200 meter runners. He was also going up against an undefeated Tim Landry from Hoover, state runner-up in 2005.

Homewood&8217;s Phillip Johnson raced to an early lead in the event, but Adair eventually worked his way to the front.

&8220;That was the goal going into today. The field was pretty close and competitive, so I knew I had to be the strongest runner,&8221; Adair said.

In the final laps, Landry applied pressure from behind, running side-by-side with Adair with two and a half laps to go.

&8220;I was getting worried. He looked like he was running pretty easily and I was hurting. But after I got a little separation, I knew if I kept pushing I had a good shot. I&8217;m not sure I could have held him off much longer though,&8221; Adair said of his five-tenths of a second margin of victory.

He captured his first title with a time of 9:33.13.

Sharman also gained her first title after sweeping the 2007 season in the high jump.

&8220;I really wanted state and I trained hard and got my mind right,&8221; Sharman said. &8220;I didn&8217;t want to be too confident and get there and not win. But when I started winning during the season I knew state was a possibility.&8221;

Her jump of five feet, six inches qualifies her for the national Nike Indoor Championships in March in Landover, Maryland