Five schools compete at Holiday Invitational

Published 2:06 pm Monday, December 14, 2015

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM – Pelham, Thompson, Oak Mountain, Spain Park and the Westminster School at Oak Mountain all took part in the Holiday Invitational, an indoor track meet at the Birmingham Crossplex, on Dec. 12. The Thompson boys were the top overall finisher from the county as the Warriors finished fifth out of 50 teams, while the Lady Warriors were also the top girls’ finishers in the county, coming in at 22nd overall.

The meet, which was split up between 1A-5A schools and 6A-7A schools, was a good barometer for the competing teams to get an idea of where they stand before the spring outdoor season rolls around.

The Lady Warriors got 14 of their 17 total points from the shot put. Constance McKnight was the only county girl to win an event, which she did with her 10.60-meter shot put toss to take 10 points. Sarah Owen, who was seeded higher than McKnight, came in fifth in the event with a toss of 9.79-meters. Lauryn Dancy was the only other Thompson girl to score, as she finished sixth in the 60-meter dash.

Sarah Sims McGrath was the only individual scorer for the Spain Park girls’ team that finished 23rd overall out of 44 girls’ teams. McGrath finished second in the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:22.47. The girls’ 4×800-meter relay team finished third as well with a final heat time of 10:22.92.

Nicole Payne led the way for Oak Mountain with a fourth-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:18.77 and was the only individual scorer for the Lady Eagles. Alex Ladewig was the top scorer for Pelham with her sixth-place finish in the pole vault, and Alice Boone led the way for the Westminster School at Oak Mountain with her fourth-place finish in the 1A-5A 60-meter hurdles.

Thompson put up 45 points in the meet on the boys’ side, and 30 of those came from Emmanuel Tait. Tait, the defending 7A champion in the 110 and 300-meter hurdles, won both of those events as well as the 60-meter dash, and was the top-scoring athlete in the county. Corey Burroughs also finished second in the triple jump with a jump of 13.32 meters for the Warriors.

Daniel Nixon of Spain Park won the 400-meter run and the 800-meter run, and held off 7A cross-country champion Paul Barlow in the process during his 800-meter win, which at 1:56.47 set a Holiday Invitational record. Damon Wright also finished third in the shot put for the Jaguars with a throw of 15.11-meters.

Oak Mountain did all of its scoring in the relay events, with a second place finish in the 4×4 and 4×200-meter races. Pelham’s best finish of the day was a fifth-place finish in the 4×200 as well.

Jacob Carrell was the only boy to score points in the 1A-5A meet in the county, and finished second in both the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run to finish with 16 total points.