Spain Park, Thompson kick off indoor season

Published 2:06 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – It was a strong day at the Birmingham Holiday Invite No. 1 for the Spain Park Jaguars and Thompson Warriors on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

The two teams combined for eight first-place finishes at the event, with the Jags and Warriors each totaling four in the meet. 

Spain Park was led by Mackenzie Culpepper, who won the 400-meter dash just ahead of teammate Delaney Vickers with a time of 57.10 seconds. She also finished just ahead of Vickers in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.18.

Vickers finished with times of 59.34 and 2:22.73, respectively, between the two races to help the Jaguars close out consecutive top-two finishes.

Peyton LeCroy added another finisher in the top 10 of the 800-meter run for the Jags with a time of 2:44.85.

For the girls, Savannah Hodgens finished seventh in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:45.10 and eighth in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:32.27, to close out the event.

Keon Buck led the way for the boys, as the state champion from last year won the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.85 seconds to kick off the season. He finished ahead of teammate Zamir Farris in 12th with a time of 7.35 seconds.

Kenneth Bishop also had a big day for the Jaguars thanks to finishes of second and sixth. He finished second in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:48.18, while he took home sixth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.09.

In the 1,600-meter run, the Jags also got a second podium finish from Garrett Bishop, who finished third with a time of 4:48.78. JT Brownlee and Weston Higginbotham finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

The Jaguars also got a first-place finish from the 4X800-meter relay team with a time of 8:44.26.

The Thompson Warriors were highlighted by a strong start to the season with 17 athletes finishing inside the top five of their respective event, including four finishes atop the podium.

Jackson Hamlin and Gavin Horton led the boys, as Hamlin continued a strong year of running and Horton picked up where he left off last year.

Hamlin won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:39.78, while Horton won in the pole vault after clearing a height of 14 feet, 6 inches.

In the 1,600-meter run, Hamlin finished ahead of teammates Matthew Hamlin in fourth and Reid Tindell in sixth, while Horton finished ahead of teammate Greyson Horton in fourth.

The girls also had two first-place finishes, with Akasha Dudley winning the shot put with a distance of 35 feet, 8.75 inches and the 4X400-meter relay team winning behind a time of 4:14.83.

The girls also got top-five finishes in the 400-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles and the 4X200-meter relay.

In the 400-meter dash, MyKah Goins finished third with a time of 1:01.58, while Taylor Rogers claimed third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 10.67 seconds. The relay team claimed fourth with a time of 1:52.37.

Outside of the Hamlins and Hortons in their respective events, the boys had eight others finish inside the top five.

The relay teams all did so with the 4X400-meter team and 4X800-meter team both finishing second, and the 4X200-meter team finishing third.

Jordan Smith and Jaxon McEuen both finished highly in the 800-meter run with Smith taking third behind a time of 2:08.65 and McEuen taking fourth with a time of 2:09.89.

In the 60-meter hurdles, Bradley Franklin finished second with a time of 8.45 seconds, while Gavin Horton added another strong finish of fourth behind a time of 9.29 seconds.

Eli Sutton then added one last top-five finish in the triple jump. He finished second with a distance of 44 feet, 0.5 inches.