7A girls have good showings at state meet
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
GULF SHORES – The 4A-7A state track and field championships took place from April 30-May 2 in Gulf Shores, and the three 7A schools in Shelby County all saw solid performances from their girls’ teams. Thompson led all 7A area finishers with a 12th place finish while Oak Mountain finished one behind the Lady Warriors at 13th while Spain Park 18th as well.
For Thompson, Alandria McGurdy finished eighth in the 100-meter dash, Kiera Miniex finished eighth in the 400-meter dash, Sarah Owen finished fourth in the shot put and seventh in the discus to round out the top-eight individual finishers for the Lady Warriors. Thompson’s 4×800-meter relay finished fifth and the 4×400-meter relay finished seventh as well.
Nicole Payne was the top area finisher in the girls meet. Payne, an eighth-grader from Oak Mountain, has consistently been at the top of class 7A all season in the 400-meter dash and did not disappoint on the big stage. Her final time of 56.09 seconds was a full 1.03 seconds better than the second place finisher, Brittley Humphrey, a junior from Hoover. As this was the inaugural 7A state track meet, there were no records to break, only records to set. However, Payne’s time was only .92 seconds off of the 6A state meet record of 55.17 set in 2009 by Morganne Phillip of Shades Valley. Payne accounted for 10 of the Lady Eagles 13 points, the other three came from Evie Bell, who finished sixth in the 3,200-meter run.
Spain Park finished with seven points at the state meet. Zoe Shore accounted for two of them with her seventh-place finish in the 1,600-meter run, and Sarah Sims McGrath brought home one more with her eighth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run. Kaleigh Carney accounted for three more with her sixth-place finish in the high jump to round out the individual scorers for the Lady Jaguars, and the 4×800-meter relay finished eighth as well.