Pelham track competes in national event

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Pelham Panthers’ boys and girls track and field teams got to take part in a special event between Friday, March 22, and Saturday, March 23, as they traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for the 2019 Sugar Bowl Track and Field Classic featuring several of the best track and field teams from around the country.

Not only did the Panthers get the opportunity to compete in the event, but they made the most of it with two first-place winners, a second-place finisher and several top 10 finishes to put together an unbelievable showing on the biggest of stages against some of the best athletes from across the country.

The two first-place finishers were no surprise, as Katie Strozier and Erin Long continued remarkable season for Pelham.

Competing in three different events, Long was able to claim a spot in the top 10 of every event she was in finishing first in the high jump, third in the javelin throw and eighth in the triple jump.

Her best showing of the day was obviously the high jump, where she has dominated this season. She posted a height of 5 feet, 2 inches to take home the top prize in the event.

Her other top-three finish in the javelin throw was also impressive, as she threw for a distance of 116 feet, 2 inches to claim third place. In the triple jump, Long recorded a distance of 34 feet, 5 inches to place eighth in that event for her third top 10 of the meet.

Teammate Alex Wilkins finished just slightly behind Long in the triple jump with a distance of 33 feet, 8.25 inches to also pick up a top-10 finish by claiming 10th.

Strozier competed in just one final race, but she made the most of it by taking home the top spot in the 1,600-meter run. She posted a time of 5:02.61 to pick up the incredible feat.

Other girls just outside of the top 10 were Sarah Guthrie (13th in pole vaulting and 17th in the long jump), Anne Wilkes (12th in the 300-meter hurdles), Elizabeth Hayhurst (16th in the javelin throw), Sydney Stepenson (16th in the 3,200-meter run), Meredith Bass (17th in the 3,200-meter run), and Adia Hasty (17th in the shot put). 

The 4X400-meter relay team and 4X800-meter relay team also had strong showings finishing seventh and fourth, respectively.

The boys also had a few standout performances from Dorian Tolbert, Dominic Fanella and Adam Keller.

All three of those athletes had top 10 finishes highlighted by Dorian Tolbert with two.

He finished second in the discus throw with a distance of 149 feet, 2 inches, while also claiming eighth in the shot put with a distance of 43 feet, 6.5 inches.

Fanella also grabbed a podium finish after picking up a third-place finish in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:59.15.

Keller closed out the string of individuals with top 10 finishes for Pelham at the event with his sixth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run thanks to a time of 4:33.80.

The boys’ 4X800-meter relay team also performed well with a finish of fifth thanks to a time of 8:27.98.