44 county athletes to compete at 7A state track meet

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

GULF SHORES – The AHSAA sectional track meets took place over the weekend all across the state in preparation for the state meets taking place from May 5-7. The 1A-3A meets will take place at Cullman High School while the 4A-7A meets will all take place in Gulf Shores at the City Municipal Track. Athletes qualified for their respective state meets by either finishing in the top five of a given event, given they met minimum standards per event class set by the AHSAA, or they were chosen as one of the next four best performers that met minimum standards from a wild-card pool for each classification event.

Spain Park is sending 17 athletes to compete in individual events while Thompson is sending 16 and Oak Mountain is sending 10. The Spain Park boys will send the most individual athletes of any team within the 7A classification in the county with 12, while the Lady Jaguars will send five. Justice Canady qualified in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Daniel Nixon qualified in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run, Christian Strong qualified in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles and Thomas Jordan qualified in the 300-meter hurdles and the long jump. Those four were the only boys to qualify for more than one event for Spain Park, while Trey Robinson and Jalen McMillan qualified in the 200-meter dash along with Canady, Damaris Farmer qualified in the 100-meter dash along with Canady as well, Jerome Kirkland qualified in the long jump along with Jordan, Jamal Johnson and Justin Brown qualified in the long jump and Damon Wright qualified in the shot put. All three of the boys’ relay teams qualified as well.

For the Lady Jaguars, Isabel Caddo and Sarah Sims McGrath both qualified in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs while McGrath also qualified for the 3,200-meter run as well. Claire Holt qualified in the pole vault as well as the long and triple jumps, Lindsay Slemmons qualified for the 300-meter hurdles and Kaleigh Carney qualified for the high jump. All three of the girls’ relay teams qualified as well.

Thompson had nine boys and seven girls qualify, led by Emmanuel Tait who qualified in the 100-meter dash as well as the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. Craig Clark qualified in both hurdle events as well for the Warriors. Conner Murphy qualified in the 1,600-meter run, Christian Anderton qualified in the 3,200-meter run, Freddie McSherdon qualified in the pole vault, Don Buckhannon qualified in the long jump, Corey Burroughs qualified in the triple jump and Viktor Turek and Nick Mobley qualified in the discus. All three of the Thompson boys relay teams also qualified.

Alandria McCurdy and Lauryn Dancy both qualified in the 100- and 200-meter dashes for the Lady Warriors, who will send seven individual athletes. Katelyn Bowles qualified in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and Sarah Owen qualified in the shot put and the discus to lead the Thompson charge. Zoria Miller qualified in the shot put alongside Owen, Olivia Coleman qualified in the javelin throw, Ebony Butler qualified in the discus and Kamden Marshall qualified in the triple jump for Thompson as well. Thompson will also send all three of its’ girl relay teams to state as well.

Oak Mountain had six boys and four girls qualify on an individual level, and will send five of its six total relay teams to state, with each qualifying except the boys’ 4×100-meter team. Sean Drummond qualified in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays while Payton Youngblood qualified in the high jump and the javelin throw to lead the Eagles. Kai Christenberry qualified in the 300-meter hurdles, Glynel Humphrey qualified in the 400-meter dash and Alex King and Logan Webb both qualified in the javelin alongside Youngblood.

For the Lady Eagles, Evie Bell was the only athlete to qualify in multiple events, as she qualified in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. Kenlee Carroll qualified in the 100-meter dash, Asia Turner qualified in the 400-meter dash and Kathryn Civils qualified in the 300-meter hurdles to round out all the competing athletes in the 7A meet.

All-in-all, there are 137 athletes from Shelby County who will compete at one of the state track meets this weekend.