Thompson’s Bradley Franklin named Male Athlete of Year after national success

Published 6:35 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

In another incredible year of sports in Shelby County that saw many athletes earn statewide acclaim for their achievements, a select few took home national honors as well.

That included Thompson track star Bradley Franklin, whose big year both indoors and outdoors earned him the title of Shelby County Male Athlete of the Year.

Franklin already made his name on the national stage going into 2024 after he finished in sixth place in his specialty event, the indoor 60-meter hurdles, at the 2023 New Balance Nationals. He also won Class 7A state championships in the outdoor 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles and indoor 60-meter hurdles.

Franklin followed that up with another standout indoor season where he remained on top of the state of Alabama and continued ascending the national ranks.

After an undefeated 5-0 indoor season in 2022-23 in the 60-meter hurdles, he went 7-0 in 2023-24 to repeat as the Class 7A state champion in the event, capping it off with a personal record of 7.62 seconds in the state championship race for his 12th straight win with Thompson.

However, his biggest achievement of the indoor season was yet to come as he returned to Boston to run in the New Balance Nationals.

Franklin got over the hump and beat out a crowded field of the fastest high school athletes in the country to win all three races at nationals, even beating out his personal record with a time of 7.61 seconds, the eighth-best time in U.S. history, to win the final race.

He then carried that momentum into the outdoor season with another successful year in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash.

Franklin finished first in eight of his nine starts in the 110-meter hurdles, including his last seven starts as he reclaimed his place atop the state in the event.

He made waves in the state championship race by setting a new personal record of 13.37 seconds, beating out Hoover alum and current NFL star Marlon Humphrey’s state championship meet record to secure his second straight state title.

His success wasn’t limited to that event though as he won five 300-meter hurdle races, including the state championship, to reassert his dominance in that race as well.

A fifth-place finish in the 100-meter dash state championship gave him another feather in his cap as he capped off a phenomenal career with the Warriors with his best season to date.

As a result of his outdoor success, he made his first appearance at the outdoor New Balance Nationals, breaking the semifinal record in 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.42 seconds on the way to finishing third overall.

His success across multiple disciplines and against the top sprinters in the state and country solidified him as one of the most talented athletes in Shelby County, even when compared to the accomplishments of his peers.

Spain Park’s Bradley Williams and Kyle Oliveira both achieved the difficult feat of going undefeated while wrestling in Class 7A as they took home individual state championships for the Jags without taking a single loss against the best the state and region had to offer.

Jordan Washington took advantage of having a full senior season with Helena to lead the county in rushing and earn Shelby County Player of the Year while guiding the Huskies to one of their most successful seasons yet.

Vincent’s Aiden Poe showed the state once again why he is one of the best pitchers in Alabama regardless of classification, securing Class 2A Pitcher of the Year after leading the county in strikeouts, and he did that just a few months after also earning All-County honors as a defensive back.

In the end, Franklin’s complete dominance on both the state and national levels secured him top honors as the Shelby County Male Athlete of the Year ahead of the start of his college career with Samford.