Briarwood, Calera show out at state meet
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
GULF SHORES – While there was only one individual state champion between the two schools, both Briarwood and Calera closed out their track and field seasons with impressive showings at the AHSAA State Track and Field Championship held at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores May 3-5.
Each team had several individual top-five finishes, while Briarwood ended up with one state champion in pole vaulting. A recap from each team’s performance is below.
In the team standings, both Briarwood’s boys and girls came in with the hopes of winning a state championship, but had to settle for finishes of fourth and sixth, respectively.
Both, however, had plenty to be proud of and it starts in the boys pole vault finals where Jaxen McPhail was able to win an individual state championship thanks to clearing a height of 13 feet 9 inches, which was three inches higher than second place.
Outside of that strong showing by McPhail, the Lions had several other top-five finishes starting with Jake Nunn in the 400-meter dash. Nunn was able to finish on the podium in third in the event thanks to a time of 50.14 seconds.
Zach Howard, a strong distance runner, finished sixth in both the 800-meter run and the 1,600-meter run, but improved to fourth in the 3,200-meter run to give Briarwood three more strong finishes. He finishes just ahead of Trent Malloy in seventh.
Nicholas Robson just missed out on a top-five finish in the 110-meter hurdles after finishing in sixth.
Ashton Domingue came into the javelin event looking for another state championship, but the senior just missed out on an individual title finishing in second. He threw for a distance of 197 feet 1 inch, which was just behind the remarkable distance of 199 feet 2 inches set by Brooks High School’s Lazarius Decatur.
Domingue was also just ahead of teammate Andrew Sherrod as the two both finished on the podium in second and third. Sherrod threw for a distance of 169 feet 5 inches, which beat out third by 5 feet.
In the boys shot put finals, Garrett Bell added another top-five finish thanks to a finish of fifth in the event.
Sophie Muir-Taylor and Morgan Hutchinson were a big reason for the girls’ sixth-place finish and their first impressive event was the 400-meter dash where they finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the 1,600-meter run, Cady McPhail was able to grab a top-five finish as well taking fifth on the nose with a time of 5:33. 10. She finished just ahead of teammate Anna Beth Hild in seventh, who also went on to finish 10th in the 3,200-meter run.
The girls finished inside the top-five of all three relay races taking fifth in the 4X100-meter race, third in the 4X400-meter race and second in the 4X800-meter race.
Lauren Musachia is also a key contributor to the team, and she finished fourth in the high jump, which was two spots higher than teammate Katie Kelley in sixth.
Calera’s track and field season was capped off by a team finish of 15th by the girls and 24th by the boys.
The girls were highlighted by Nia Maye, who finished fifth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.2 seconds. She then went on to finish one spot lower in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.62.
Syncere Henderson also ended an impressive season in the 300-meter hurdles with a top-five finish taking fourth in the event with a time of 48.58.
As a team, the girls finished fourth in the 4X100-meter relay with a time of 49.99 after finishing third in the prelims with a time of 50.19.
The boys team was highlighted by junior Cornelius Brown, who finished seventh in the high jump with a height of six feet and fourth in the long jump with a distance of 20 feet 10.75 inches. He just narrowly missed a second-place finish and was two feet away from winning an individual title.
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