Raiders win track title

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shelby Academy won its second AISA state track championship in three years Thursday, taking top place in Class 1A by 17 points. The score was good enough for fourth overall among 1A-3A teams.

Senior Brandon Horton finished second in three events and third in another to lead the Raiders with 30 points, which tied him with Fort Dale’s Daniel Nolan for the most individual points award.

“It was a great opportunity and privilege,” Horton said. “It’s hard to win MVP for the overall meet.”

Horton, who was competing with a pulled hamstring, took second in the 100-meter dash in 11.60 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.39 seconds. Horton also had a good day in the long jump and triple jump, finishing second and third, respectively.

Horton gives a lot of credit for the team win to teammates Bobby Sexton and Colton Wingard, who both placed in field events.

“Two years ago we had the relay team, so this year, not having the relay team, those guys pulled the weight in the field events, and that really helped,” Horton said.

Sexton was second in the shotput with a throw of 44 feet, while Wingard was third in discus with a 110-foot throw.

The Raiders’ girls finished second in Class 1A to Sparta after a second and third place finish in the 4×100-meter relay and 4×200-meter relay, respectively.

“It was heartbreaking for them,” Shelby track coach Shannon Jones said. “Sparta had 35 girls and we had about seven or eight. They worked their butts off this year. We had a great showing to be outmatched like we were.”

Savannah Smith was third in the 100-meter dash, while Chelsey Carter was fourth. Carter was third in the 200 and Brooklyn Kimbrell was sixth in the 200. The three were joined by Ashley Thompson on the relay teams.

Kingwood and Cornerstone also had athletes place in the state meet. Cornerstone’s J.V. McKinney finished third in the high jump and sixth in the 200-meter dash, while Michael Martin was fifth in the 300-meter hurdles. Kingwood’s Brandon Bowen was third in the 3200-meter run.