Saturday, February 22, 2020






Mobile Christian senior Josiah Harry’s Shot Put Effort Grabs Spotlight as 50th AHSAA Indoor Championships Conclude

BIRMINGHAM – The longest running indoor track and field record was finally seriously challenged Saturday at the 50th AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

    And the challenge came in the AHSAA’s smallest division. Mobile Christian senior Josiah Harry tossed the shot put 62 feet, 6½ inches to won the Class 1A/3A title in the last field event of the final day of competition. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound shot putter’s throw was the longest in the CrossPlex’s nine-year history and came within a foot of breaking the record (63-06 ½) set by former Phillips High School, Auburn University and New Orleans Saints star defensive lineman Frank Warren in 1977.

   Some have come close to that record that has stood the test of time for 43 years, but none have come as close as Harry. His throw eclipsed the CrossPlex record (62-0½ ) by Tanner Duffin of St. Pius X of Atlanta  in the Last Chance Invitational Meet in 2019.

   In the team competition, Saint James won its second straight Class 1A/3A girls’ indoor championship, Scottsboro captured the 4A/5A state crown, Homewood won its fourth in a row in Class 6A and Hoover’s girls won the 7A title and the Bucs’ eighth overall.

   In the boy’ competition, Hoover’s boys won the 7A title, Homewood won in 6A, Scottsboro in 4A/4A and Bayside Academy in Class 1A/3A.  Hoover, Homewood and Scottsboro – coached by Devin Hind, Thomas Esslinger and Luke Robinson, respectively, swept both the boys’ and girls’ championships. Kevin Madden is head coach for Saint James and Joe Swagart is Bayside Academy’s head coach.

   Scottsboro’s girls had the closest battle, edging Jasper for the 4A/5A championship by one point, 64.5 to 63.5. That point came in the 4x400 relay in the final race in that division for the day with the Wildcats finishing third and the Vikings finishing fourth – to earn six and five points, respectively. It was Scottsboro’s fifth title overall.

  Saint James had 120 points to win its second straight 1A/3A girls’ state championship and third in a row. Whitesburg Christian was runner-up with 99 points. Homewood’s girls totaled 111 points to win their fourth in a row in Class 6A. Northridge and Pelham tied for second with 51 points each.  with 111 points. Hoover had 102 points in Class 7A with runner-up Auburn collecting 63.5.

    Bayside Academy had 85 points as the Admirals claimed their first indoor boys’ state track title. Providence Christian was second with 50 points.  Scottsboro totaled 86 points and runner-up Ramsay had 51 in Class 4A/5A. The title was the Wildcats’ boys’ seventh overall.

   Homewood won its third consecutive 6A boys’ championship and seventh overall with 84.5 points in a close battle with Opelika. The Bulldogs had 76. And Hoover rolled up 114.5 points while winning the Bus’ 10th indoor crown, and runner-up Thompson had 89 points.

   Harry’s record throw beat his nearest competitor by 17 feet but wasn’t the only one that fell Saturday. Briarwood Christian’s Jake Nunn set a new Class 4A/5A indoor state record in the 400-meter dash with a winning time of 48.56 Saturday. He edged Parker’s Jekovan Rhetta, who finished a close second at 49.32. The previous record (48.68) was set by Harrison Dudley of Paul Bryant in 2014.

    Rhetta battled back to win the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.84 seconds, just 5/100ths of a tick off the state 4A/5A record. Darius Williams of Demopolis was second at 6.94.

    Hoover sprinter Jonathan Martin competed in two very close finishes winning the Class 7A 400-meter dash with a 48.70 time over runner-up Antonio Crisco of Central-Phenix City (49.2). Martin’s time was just shy of the 7A state record (48.09) set by Deante Tolbert of Auburn in 2015.

  Martin and Hoover teammate J’Marri McCall were even closer in the 60-meter dash finals. Both was timed at 6.96 but McCall got the win in the photo finish. More importantly, Hoover picked up 18 points in the event. Baker sprinter LaDareyan Craig was third at 6.98, while Sam Reynolds of Thompson and Aaron Brooks of Oak Mountain were 4-5 with identical 6.99 times.

   The closest race of the day came in the rest of the field came in the Class 6A boys’ 60-meter finals as Opelika sprinter Jaylen Stinson squeaked out the victory over Hueytown’s Tkarri Parker by 1/100th of a second. Stinson’s time was 6.93 seconds and Parker clocked 6.94. The 6A indoor state record is held by Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s Okheme Moore, who won the 2018 event with a time of 6.81.

   Scottsboro’s 3,200-meter relay, anchored by Hayden Judge and Cooper Atkins, established a new Class 4A/5A record with an 8:12.61 time Saturday. The old record (8:16.55) was set by Northside in 2016.

   Saint James’ Presley Miles won her seventh and eight gold medals in the last two seasons with a 59.06-seconds winning time in the 400-meter dash and a 5:21.23 in the 1A/3A 1,600 meters. She won the 800 and 3,200 events on Friday and won the same four events at last year’s Indoor State Championships.

  In other indoor track highlights Saturday:


JAYDEN GILBERT, BOB JONES: Tied the Class 7A indoor state meet record in the high jump with a winning leap of 5-06 feet. Genesis Jones of Hoover set the record at the 2018 state meet.

CLAIRE FRAZIER BOLTON, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Won the 800 meters on Friday and followed with a winning time of 5:01.80 Saturday to claim the Class 7A, 1,600-meter run title as well. She was just two seconds off the 7A state record (4.59.96) set by Anna Grace Morgan of Mountain Brook in 2017.
CHAKIYA PLUMMER, HOOVER: Won the 60-meter hurdles event with an 8.73 winning time. Baker’s Kelsey White was second clocking 8.95.
MAKENZIE HARRIS of Austin won the 7A 60-meter dash with a 7.80 time. 


LAINEY PHELPS, HOMEWOOD: Picked up her third first-place medal of the 2020 Indoor Track championships Saturday with a 5:06.88 time in the 1,600 meters. She also won the 800 and 3,200 on Friday to pace the Patriots’ state championship effort. 

OLIVIA BEARD, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Won the Class 6A high jump with clearing 5-07 – to tie the CrossPlex record set by Caroline Lawrence of Homewood in 2016. The AHSAA indoor state record (5-08.25)for 6A was set Murphy’s Kelly Gregory in 1985 at the Celebration Arena in Priceville.

MAGGIE WHITE HOMEWOOD: Had the winning throw of 38-01.50 on her fifth try to win the Class 6A shot-put competition.

CHRISTIERRA WILLIAMS, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Won the triple jump on Friday, went home and took the ACT test on Saturday morning and returned to win the long jump with a 17-07 leap.

CHANICE SPICER, BREWBAKER TECH: Set a new 4A/5A state record (56.09) to win the 400-meter dash. Ramsay sprinter Jasity White was a close second at 57.13. The state record was held by Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn, who ran 56.92 in the 2017 state meet. Spicer also won the 4A/5A 60-meter dash with a near-record 7.65 time in the finals. Ramsay’s Krystalynn Oakman and White were 2-3 at 7:70 and 7.86, respectively.

   KATHY HAMMOND, LAMP: Added the 1,600 meters title to her 3,200 win with a winning time of 5:25.93.


KAAN OLIVER, PIKE ROAD: Set a new Class 1A/3A state record in the 60-meter hurdles finals winning with a 9.05 time. Kayleigh Atkins of American Christian set the previous record (9.08) in 2018.

NIA WHITE, PIKE ROAD: Nipped teammate Kaan Oliver at the tape to win the Class 1A/3A 60-meter dash with a near-record 7.96 time. Oliver was second clocking 8.03.


JACE JONES, THOMPSON: Clocked 4:21.63 in the 1,600-meter run to pick up his second championship of the  2020 Class 7A indoor championships Saturday. He set a 7A state record in the 3,200 meters on Friday and also finished second in the 800-meter run.

JOHN WATKINS, HOOVER: Captured the 7A triple jump event with a winning leap of 48-10.75. Teammate L.J. Hill was second at 46-08.25.

MALIK JOHNSON, CENTRAL-PHENIX CITY: Won the 7A high jump with a best leap of 6-08.


CARSON BEDICS, HOMEWOOD: Set a new Class 6A record with a winning time of 4:19.27 in the 1,600-meter race Saturday. The old mark (4:21.11) was set by Brandon Hazouri of Spain Park in 2012. Homewood also took second place with Crawford Hope crossing the finish line at 4:23.69.

WALKER SMITH, HOMEWOOD: Won the Class 6A pole vault with a state and 6A indoor state-meet record 15-07.25 clearance. Sean Collins of McGill-Toolen Catholic set the record (15-07) previously in 2014. He also cleared 16-06.50 in a regular-season meet in 2015 for the CrossPlex prep record.

EDWIN RAINEY, NORTHRIDGE: Won the Class 6A triple jump with a winning leap of 48-00.75 on his final successful attempt of the competition. His distance was just four inches shy of the state record. LeDamian Rowell of Opelika was a close second with a 48-00.50 jump on his second try of the competition.

COOPER ATKINS, SCOTTSBORO: Won the 1,600 meters race beating teammate Hayden Judge by less than a second with a winning time of 4:25.65. Judge clocked 4:26.43. He edged Atkins by a similar time as the two Wildcats’ runners finished 1-2 in the 3,200 meters on Friday.

DAVID GRONEWOLD, ARAB: Won the Class 4A/5 high jump event clearing 6-06.

Made it a complete sweep of the distance events with a 4:38.06 time in the Class 1A/3A 1,600-meter race Saturday to win the event. He won the 3,200 and 800 on Friday to give his team 30 points in individual events.
JIKERIUS ANDERSON, COTTAGE HILL: Won the 1A/3A long jump with a 22-00.25 leap in his second try of the competition.
RICHARD PAYNE, SOUTHEASTERN: Clocked 50.57 in a photo finish to win the 400-meter dash – just .27 off the state record for 1A/3A set by Winfield’s Trey Cunningham in 2016. Finishing second was Christopher Drayton of Bayside Academy, who had a 50.59 time.
PATRICK DAVES, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Won the 60-meter hurdles with an 8.32 time for the state champion Admirals. He also won the high jump with a 6-0 leap and the triple jump with a 42-05.25 jump.



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