Local athletes perform well at MLK Track Classic

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – While many had the day off, several of Shelby County’s best athletes shined on Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the 2020 edition of the MLK Track Classic held on Monday, Jan. 20 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Thompson’s boys and girls teams continued an impressive season as the biggest local highlight at the event thanks to the boys taking home second overall in a field of 74 teams and the girls taking home fourth in a field of 75 teams.

In addition to the strong performance from the Warriors, Helena’s boys finished eighth and girls 37th, Briarwood’s boys finished 13th and girls 63rd, Chelsea’s girls finished 28th and boys 74th, Calera’s boys finished 27th and girls 35th, Westminster at Oak Mountain’s girls finished 15th and boys 57th, Oak Mountain’s boys finished 31st, and Shelby County’s boys finished 54th.

Thompson was highlighted by two first place finishers in ZaKiria Holifield and Jace Jones, while the Warriors also saw one of their relay teams finish in first as well.

Holifield ended up winning the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.75 seconds, while she also added one of many second place finishes for the Warriors in the 400-meter dash behind a time of 57.28 seconds.

Jones ended up with a strong showing in the 3,200-meter run, as he finished first with a time of 9:23.44. That marked a new meet and school record.

The 4X400-meter girls relay team also claimed first with a time of 4:08.69, which narrowly edged out Hoover.

In addition to those three performances, Dominque Hall, Jared Hurst and Blake Ellis all added podium finishes for Thompson, while several others finished inside the top five.

Hall finished second in both the 400-meter dash and the pole vault event. In the 400-meter dash, he finished with a time of 50.86 seconds, while he recorded a height of 14 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault. In the pole vault, Ellis finished just behind Hall in third with a height of 13 feet, 6 inches.

Hurst finished second in the high jump thanks to a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.

Walker Cole and Harrison Dimick were the two biggest highlights for Oak Mountain in the event. Cole finished fourth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:29.36, while Dimick finished third in the shot put to claim a podium finish thanks to a distance of 52 feet, 10.5 inches.

T.J. Funches, Brady Barton and Allison Tanner all highlighted the day for the Helena Huskies, with Funches grabbing the top spot in the high jump with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches.

Barton’s day was also impressive, as he finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.01 and second in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:26.76.

Tanner’s impressive day came in the high jump where she finished second thanks to a height of 5 feet, 4 inches.

The Calera Eagles also had a few noteworthy performances from Nia Maye, Jordon Bray, Trenton Yowe, the 4X200-meter relay team and the 4X400-meter relay team.

Maye finished fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.98 seconds and finished sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.29 seconds. That sixth-place finish was just ahead of Bray, who finished with a time of 59.33 seconds.

Yowe’s highlight came in the 400-meter dash with a finish of fifth thanks to a time of 51.30 seconds. Calera’s boys’ 4X200-meter and 4X400-meter relay teams both finished in the top five as well. The 4X200-meter team finished fifth with a time of 1:32.97, while the 4X400 team finished fourth with a time of 3:36.54.

Chelsea was also able to put forth a strong showing, thanks in large part to Teanna Cason. Cason claimed first in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:43.58, while also finishing sixth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:30.12.

Miles Brush was the highest finisher for the Chelsea boys thanks to a time of 10:04.15 in the 3,200-meter run.

Briarwood’s day was highlighted by Trent Malloy, Joseph Bell and the 4X800-meter relay team. Malloy took third in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:48.12 to earn the Lions’ only individual podium finisher, while Bell finished right behind in fourth. He finished the event with a time of 4:48.12.

The 4X800-meter relay team put together Briarwood’s best performance of the day thanks to a second-place finish behind a time of 9:07.86.

Westminster at Oak Mountain had one of its strong events as well despite the difficult competition. The Knights were highlighted by podium finishes from Hallie Porterfield and the girls 4X400-meter relay team.

Porterfield claimed second in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:46.24, while teammate Hannah Adams was just behind in fourth with a time of 11:59.73.

Payton Metcalf also had a strong performance in the 60-meter hurdles with a finish of sixth behind a time of 10.08 seconds.

In addition to those finishes, the 4×400-meter relay team finished third with a time of 4:31.92.

The Shelby County Wildcats were highlighted by a fifth-place finish from David Vick in the high jump thanks to a height of 5 feet, 8 inches. Coleman Byars and Vick also performed well in the long jump.

In that event, Byars finished ninth with a distance of 18 feet, 8.25 inches, while Vick finished 12th with a distance of 18 feet, 2 inches.