Briarwood, Westminster have strong showing at state

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

BIRMINGHAM – Briarwood Christian School and Westminster at Oak Mountain tend to be two of the more prominent track and field teams each and every year in both the winter and spring season.

The 2017-18 season was no different as both competed at the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field State Championships held at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3-4.

Individually the two teams combined to have 29 total finish in the top 10 of event finals, including 21 of those 29 finishing in the top five, while Westminster had three total individual state championships.

From a team aspect the Knights’ boys finished in third, while the girls took home fourth; and the Briarwood boys grabbed ninth, while the girls finished in 17th.

Girls

Starting with the Westminster girls’ team, Hallie Porterfield had yet another unbelievable showing. The freshman finished in sixth in the 1,600-meter run, fourth in the 3,200-meter run and ninth in the 800-meter run to give her three top 10 finishes.

Payton Metcalf also had an impressive showing as she picked up two top three finishes. The sophomore finished in third in the 60-meter hurdles and third in the 60-meter dash.

Junior Hannah York had strong performances in those same two events finishing in fifth in the 60-meter hurdles and fifth in the 60-meter dash to give the Knights two top five runners in each event.

Seniors Sarah Kate Lipperd and Rachel Faulk had nice finishes at the event as well.

Lipperd finished fifth in the 400-meter dash and sixth in the 800-meter run, while Faulk took home ninth in the 3,200-meter race. Freshman Kendall McCallum was the final top 10 finisher for Westminster individually as she grabbed ninth in the high jump.

As a team, the Knights won a state championship in the 4X800-meter relay and 4X200-meter relay and also finished third in the 4X400-meter relay.

The highest two finishes from Briarwood’s girls came from Lauren Musachia and Morgan Hutchinson as they each had a top five finish.

Musachia had the higher of the two finishes with a fourth-place finish in the high jump finals, while Hutchinson grabbed fifth in the 400-meter dash.

Other top 10 finishes included Adrien Goolsby in 10th in the 3,200-meter run and a seventh-place finish as a team in the 4X800-meter relay.

Boys

The Westminster boys had one of the more dominant performances of any county team competing at the event thanks to three total state championships from individual runners.

Two of those state championships came from Nate Collins. The senior won the 1,600-meter race and the 3,200-meter race, while also finishing in fifth in the 800-meter run.

In the 800-meter event, Collins finished just behind teammate and fellow senior Pierce Moffett, who took home third place.

The other state champion was Wiley Boone, who won a title in the long jump final. The senior also grabbed a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter dash.

Hunter Wright, a freshman, also had two top six finishes in his respective events. Wright finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run and sixth in the 1,600-meter run.

As a team, the Knights performed well in two separate relay races finishing in fifth in the 4X400-meter relay and third in the 4X800-meter relay.

Like the Westminster boys, Briarwood’s boys capped off a strong season with some strong performances in the state meet.

The Lions had a total of nine top 10 finishers and were highlighted by four specific athletes in general.

Zack Howard has had a storied career with the Lions and continued his dominant senior year with a fourth-place finish in the 3,200-meter run and a sixth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run to cap off his indoor season.

Nicholas Robson also had a top-three finish for the Lions taking home third in the 60-meter hurdles.

Junior Jay Kynerd was able to grab eighth in the 60-meter dash, but had his high finish of fourth come in the long jump finals.

Freshman Trent Malloy also had a strong showing in the 3,200-meter run alongside Howard. Malloy was able to take home seventh-place in the event.

The final two notable finishes came in the pole vault finals as Jaxen McPhail finished in 10th just ahead of teammate Riley Margene in 11th. McPhail is a freshman, while Margene is just an eighth grader.