Local teams highlight MLK Classic

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

BIRMINGHAM – In one of the most popular events each season, seven track and field teams from Shelby County took part in the annual Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic on Monday, Jan. 17.

Between seven different teams, there were 16 combined podium finishers and six different winners.

The Thompson Warriors had another strong event and were one of the biggest highlights with five podium finishers, including one winner.

That lone win came from Akasha Dudley in the shot put, as she continued a dominant season in the event. She totaled 35 feet, 1.5 inches to win, and she has now won in all four meets she has competed in during the indoor season.

She highlighted the event for the Warriors, while four boys also finished on the podium.

They were highlighted by Eli Sutton in the triple jump thanks to a finish of second behind a distance of 44 feet, 8.75 inches.

Behind that, Jackson Hamlin, Bradley Franklin and Gavin Horton all finished third in their respective events.

Hamlin did so in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:44.20, while Franklin did so in the 60-meter hurdles thanks to a time of 8.55 seconds. Horton then cleared a height of 14 feet to grab a podium spot in the pole vault.

The Oak Mountain Eagles got one podium finish during the meet thanks to Ethan Hammett. He finished third in the high jump after clearing 6 feet, 4 inches.

Hammett finished just ahead of teammate Mitch Allen, who finished fourth in the same event after clearing 6 feet, 2 inches.

Jack Stanfield added the only other top-five finish, totaling 44 feet, 8.25 inches to finish fifth in the shot put.

Chelsea, who competed in the MLK #1 event rather than the #2 event, had one of the strongest showings at the meet.

The Hornets had four first-place finishes and seven total podium finishes.

Cady McPhail and Miles Brush were both highlights for Chelsea with McPhail grabbing two wins and Brush one.

McPhail took the top spot in the 3,200-meter run and the 400-meter dash. She finished the distance run with a time of 11:30.88, while she finished the 400-meter race with a time of 58.51 seconds.

Brush mirrored that success, winning the 1,600-meter run behind a time of 4:22.99.

Behind McPhail in the girls’ events, the 4X400-meter relay team finished first with a time of 4:24.51, while the 4X200-meter team finished second thanks to a time of 1:50.81.

The girls also got a finish of second from Alana McCulla in the pole vault event after she cleared a height of 9 feet, 6 inches.

For the boys, Matt Gray joined Brush as a podium finisher. Gray finished third in the 60-meter dash thanks to a time of 7.14 seconds.

The Calera Eagles were highlighted by two of the state’s best as Jordon Bray and Braylyn Farrington claimed podium finishes.

Competing in the girls 400-meter dash, Bray took home second behind a time of 58.93 seconds, while Farrington did the same in the boys 400-meter dash thanks to a time of 49.33 seconds.

The Briarwood Lions also competed in the event, and while they didn’t have any podium finishers, the Lions had two finish in the top five.

Bela Doss claimed fourth in the 800-meter run behind a time of 2:28.43, while the girls 4X400-meter relay team finished fifth thanks to a time of 4:25.28.

Indian Springs was highlighted by one top-10 finisher, as Elise Picard finished seventh in the 3,200-meer run thanks to a time of 11:52.66.

For the Westminster at Oak Mountain Knights, the girls 4X800-meter relay team competed and finished second behind a time of 11:06.21.