Pelham’s Mason, Calera’s Bray, Helena’s Sestili, ISS’ Hinson win state titles in indoor track
Published 12:31 am Monday, February 5, 2024
By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor
BIRMINGHAM – Four area athletes kicked off the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in style as they walked away from the Birmingham CrossPlex on the first day of the meet on Friday, Feb. 2 with individual state championships.
Pelham’s Tyler Mason, Helena’s Michael Sestili, Calera’s Jordon Bray and Indian Springs’ Catherine Hinson each stood atop the podium as state champions.
Mason brought home the state title to Pelham by winning the 6A boys shot put. After a dominant season in the event, he won first place with a throw of 51-08.00.
He was not the only field athlete from the county to take first place in Class 6A as Helena’s Michael Sestili won the boys pole vault.
He outlasted every other athlete in the event to clear a mark of 14-00.00 and take home the crown.
Calera’s Jordon Bray closed out her indoor track career with the Eagles by winning first place in the 6A girls 400-meter run.
Fresh off of her commitment to the University of Alabama, Bray stood atop the podium with a time of 57.04, beating the next closest runner, Mountain Brook’s Lucy Benton, by 2.06 seconds.
Bray also earned third place in the girls 800-meter run. Her time of 2:18.53 just edged out Homewood’s Emma Brooke Levering by 0.45 seconds for the bronze medal. Briarwood’s Bela Doss finished in fifth in the same race with a time of 2:21.19.
In the Class 1A-3A races, Indian Springs’ Catherine Hinson secured first place for her school. She won the girls 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:29.82.
Those performances headlined a strong day for Shelby County schools as Briarwood’s girls team finished in fifth place with 26 points and Pelham’s boys team earned ninth place with 20 points.
Points were awarded to the top eight finishers in each event and then combined for each team’s scores.
Briarwood’s Ansley Murphy took home second-place honors in the 6A girls high jump, clearing a mark of 11-00.00 to tie with St. Paul Episcopal’s Sadie Carrington for the silver medal.
Jaden King secured second place for Calera in the 6A boys 400-meter run. His run of 49.54 seconds was enough to land him on the podium to represent the Eagles.
Helena’s Brooklyn Kelley earned a bronze medal in the 6A girls shot put. Her mark of 34-07.00 was good enough for third place and another top-three finish for the Huskies.
William McGough of Pelham finished the 6A boys 60-meter dash finals in 6.97 seconds, which earned him third place. Before that, he took second place in the preliminaries with a nearly-identical time of 6.96 seconds.
The Panthers’ Mariah McGough also had a strong time in the 60-meter dash, this time in the 6A girls race. She turned in a run of 7.89 seconds to earn fourth place in the event.
Emma Grace Howard also gave Pelham a fourth-place finish with her effort in the 6A girls high jump. She cleared a mark of 5-00.00 to place in the top five.
Her teammate Jocelyn Elliott came in sixth in the same event with a mark of 4-10.00.
Howard also competed in the girls triple jump for the Panthers. She earned sixth place with a mark of 34-02.50.
Helena’s Abigail Parsons secured a top five finish for the Huskies in the 6A girls pole vault. Her mark of 10-00.00 landed her in fifth place.
Briarwood’s Allie Hale came in sixth place in the girls 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:54.20.
Doss added more points to the Lions’ total with a seven-place finish in the girls 1,600-meter run. She completed the event with a time of 5:16.67.
After earning fourth place in the prelims with a time of 9.73 seconds, Briarwood’s Livi Reebals secured seventh place in the finals of the 6A girls 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.90 seconds.
The Lions’ girls 4×200-meter relay team made it three seventh-place finishes on the day for Briarwood as they finished the race in 1:49.58.
Calera’s Elijah McKoy came in seventh place in the 6A boys 800-meter run with a time of 2:01.15.
Kennedy Lyles of Pelham earned eighth place in the 6A girls long jump after earning a mark of 16-00.75.
The Panthers’ Anthony Sanders took eighth place in the 6A boys 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.77 seconds.
Two of Pelham’s relay teams brought home eighth-place finishes as the boys 4×200-meter team ran a time of 1:33.81 and the boys 4×800-meter team completed the event in 8:50.45.
Kacee Owens rounded out the meet for the Panthers with an eighth-place showing in the 6A boys long jump. He added another point to Pelham’s tally with a mark of 20-06.75.