Several boys post strong performance at MLK Classic

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM – The indoor track and field season is slowly coming to an end now that we are two weeks away from the state championship taking place from Jan. 2-3, but several local boys teams and individual runners took part in the MLK Indoor Classic on Monday, Jan. 15, to get some final work in ahead of the big event.

Briarwood, Helena, Oak Mountain, Pelham Shelby County and Thompson all competed at the MLK Classic with several highlights to recap. Below is a rundown of how they fared at the meet. 

Thompson

Thompson had several strong performances at the event with 16 top-25 finishers, which made them one of the most consistent and impressive teams at the entire event.

Starting in the 1,600-meter race, Brandon DeMarcus Lee finished in 20th with a time of 4:44.58.

Two runners finished in the top 20 in the 400-meter dash race. Seniors Samuel Holmes and Alondae Vassar took 11th and 18th, respectively, in the race. Holmes finished with a time of 51.23, while Vassar had a time of 52.03.

As a team, however, Thompson might have proven it can win a state championship. The boys finished first in the 4X800-meter relay by 8 seconds, second in the 4X400-meter relay just 0.01 seconds behind Hoover in an unbelievable finish, and fourth in the 4X200-meter relay just 3 seconds behind the winning time.

Van Caffey, a junior for the Warriors, picked things back up in the individual races with a finish of 22nd in the 60-meter dash.

Thompson’s best individual race, however, was in the 800-meter run. The Warriors had three runners finish inside the top 12 of the event.

Jace Jones took fourth with a time of 2:01.22, Timothy Osborne finished in seventh with a time of 2:02.46 and Thomas Cousins finished in 12th with a time of 2:03.57.

They also had two top-10 finishes in the high jump finals. Jared Hurst, a freshman, and Phillip Lewis, a senior, both finished in a tie for ninth with a distance of 6 feet.

Blake Ellis and Ozzy Heller added two more top-25 finishes with a tie for 20th in the pole vault finals, while Dominque Hall was just outside with a finish of 26th.

Viktor Turek picked up a finish of 12th in the shot put finals with a distance of 43 feet 0.75 inches, while Gavin Gray finished in 18th in the triple jump with a distance of 40 feet 8 inches to close out the Warriors’ strong event.

Oak Mountain

Bryce Keefover, Glynel Humphrey and Trey Allen had the main highlights for Oak Mountain in the event.

Keefover finished in 14th in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 4:41.17, and finished 31st in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:12.07.

Humphrey picked up Oak Mountain’s boys highest finish of the day with a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash. He ended the race with a time of 49.92, which was less than a second off the winning pace.

The junior also finished in 20th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.24 seconds.

Allen, also a junior, picked up the Eagles’ other top 10 finish as he finished in a tie for ninth in the high jump finals with a distance of 6 feet.

As a team, Oak Mountain finished in seventh in the 4X200-meter finals with a time of 1:33.48.

Pelham 

Adam Keller and Dorian Tolbert had impressive showings at the event for the Pelham Panthers.

Keller finished in 18th in his lone event, the 800-meter run. The junior finished with a time of 2:05.16.

Tolbert finished slightly higher in the shot put finals as he took home 14th with a distance of 42 feet 2 inches. The event featured a total of 102 competitors.

Helena

It was a big day for Jonah Hyde at the MLK Classic as he led Helena in several events as did others, including Blake Vaughn.

Starting with Vaughn in the 1,600-meter finals, the senior finished in eighth place with a time of 4:38.06 in his only event of the day.

Hyde also picked up a top-10 finish in the high jump finals. The junior finished with a distance of 6 feet 2 inches, which was good enough for a tie for third place with four others.

In that same event, senior Connor Tiffin and sophomore T.J. Funches were able to pick up top-20 finishes as well. The two finished in a tie for 13th with a distance of 5 feet 10 inches.

Hyde had another top-25 finish in the long jump finals, finishing in 22nd with a distance of 19 feet 2 inches.

His last strong showing of the day came in the triple jump finals, where he was able to finish in 16th with a distance of 41 feet 0.5 inches. Hyde finished just behind senior Jordan Wallace, who took home 11th with a distance of 41 feet 11.75 inches.

Christian Hill finished 18th in the 60-meter hurdle finals with a time of 9.44, which was just over a second behind first place.

Junior Garrett Hinds was able to pick up a finish of 17th in the shot put event with a distance of 41 feet 7 inches.

As a team, the Huskies finished 10th in the 4X800-meter relay with a time of 9:08.29.

Briarwood

Trent Malloy, Jake Nunn and Zack Howard all had top 25 finishes throughout the day as each competed in one event apiece.

The highest of the three finishes went to Malloy, who finished in 14th in the 3,200-meter finals. The freshman finished the race in 10:22.24.

Nunn was the next highest finisher was Nunn, who took home 16th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.90 seconds.

Howard finished just outside of the top 20 in the 1,600-meter run, finishing in 23rd with a time of 4:45.53.

Shelby County

Shelby County’s highest finish came from Dawson Thornburgh in the high jump finals as he finished in a tie for 36th with a distance of 5 feet 2 inches.