BIRMINGHAM – The 47th AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships get underway Friday morning at the Birmingham CrossPlex and will conclude Saturday.
Action starts at 9 a.m. for field and running events Friday. Saturday’s schedule has field events getting underway at 8 a.m., and running events at 9 a.m. The NFHS Network will live-stream Saturday’s final day of competition at the CrossPlex with Jerry Young and Jon Lunceford handling play-by-play commentary and Taylor Narewski serving as color commentator. The live timing results are being provided by Xpress Timing will be available online at www.ahsaa.com.
Defending girls’ state champions are Hoover in 7A, Pelham in 6A, St. Paul’s Episcopal in 4A-5A and American Christian in 1A-3A. Coach Tim Tate’s St. Paul’s girls won their 21st team state title overall and fourth in a row since indoor track moved to the CrossPlex in 2012.
Defending boys’ champions are Auburn (7A), Homewood (6A), UMS-Wright (4A-5A) and Winfield (1A-3A).
Among the standouts in this year’s championships is junior Trey Cunningham of Winfield. He helped the Pirates claim the Class 1A-3A state title in 2015 with a record-setting performance. Cunningham scored the maximum 40 points in the Class 1A-3A boys division with individual wins in the 60-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash, long jump and triple jump to help the Pirates win the state title.
Cunningham turned in a 7.76-second time in the 60-meter hurdles at the Last Chance Invitational last weekend at the CrossPlex – a time that betters the state-record 7.80 mark set by Marlon Humphrey of Hoover at the 2013 state meet.
Junior Deante Tolbert led Auburn the first Class 7A title in AHSAA history last year with the fastest indoor 400-meter time (48.09 seconds) in the 46-year indoor state meet history. Opelika senior Nathanaiel Huggins also returns after setting the 60-meter dash indoor record last year running a 6.87 time in the Class 6A prelims. He has beat that time this season running 6.84 at the Ice Breaker Invitational in early January at the CrossPlex. He also has the fastest time of the season in the 400-meter dash (48.12), just 3/100ths off the state mark, in the same meet.
Junior Noah Igbinoghene of Hewitt-Trussville leaped 24 feet, 7½ inches in the long jump at the Martin Luther King Classic at the CrossPlex in January. That leap is just ¼ inch off the state mark set by Murphy’s Anthony Carter in the 1971 state meet at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum. That 45-year-old mark is the current standing state record in the AHSAA. Senior Michael Wiggins of Huntsville also jumped a state-best 49 feet, 3½ inches at the USATF Galleria Games in December, more than 15 inches better than the current state meet record (47-11¼) set by Spain Park’s Myles Charley in 2012.
In the girls’ competition, Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic, an eighth grader in 2015, set the 4A-5A state record in the 1,600 meters (5:01.36) and the state’s overall record in the indoor 3,200 (10:32.94). She returns this year as a freshman to lead the Lady Knights.
Junior Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn has run 7.46 seconds in the 60-meter dash this season to better her own state-meet record 7.49 time set in 2014 and equaled in 2015. Hoover senior Brittley Humphrey has also bettered her 60-meter hurdles state-meet record (8.54) set in 2014 with a winning time of 8.44 seconds in the Martin Luther King Classic last month.
McGill-Toolen Catholic senior Margaret Ollinger appears on pace to beat her own AHSAA state indoor pole vault record as well. She set the mark in 2015 clearing 12 feet, 4½ inches. Her season best so far in 2016 is 13-2¼ at the Last Chance Invitational last weekend.
Current AHSAA Indoor state-meet records can be found at www.ahsaa.com at the Indoor Track link.