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State Champions Crowned in 4 Classes At State Track Championships in Gulf Shores

   GULF SHORES – UMS-Wright captured is eighth straight AHSAA Class 4A state boys’ track title in a row Saturday as the 92nd annual championships concluded at Gulf Shores Sports Complex.
    Coach Pat Galle’s boys posted 86 points to edge runner-up Dadeville (82) by four points in what turned out to be one of the most competitive outdoor state track and field meets in the AHSAA’s long history.
     The Bulldogs now have 22 boys’ championships. UMS-Wright’s girls  also won the 4A girls’ title with 138 points. Brooks was second with 89.   It was the Mobile school’s 15th overall and sixth in the last seven years.
    Hoover won the Class 7A girls championship scoring 171 points – doubling runner-up Mountain Brook’s 84 points. Coach Devon Hind’s Lady Bucs have won the big-school state crown sixth of the last seven years and own both 7A titles.  Homewood, coached by Thomas Esslinger, won its third 6A state girls’ championship in a row scoring 102.50 points with runner-up Pelham right behind with 98.50. Walker was third with 82.50. St. Paul’s Episcopal’s girls, coached by Jim Tate, took first place in Class 5A with 123 points. Beauregard finished second with 90.
    On the boys’ side, Coach Dan Norton’s Auburn Tigers won the 7A state championship for the second year in a row outscoring runner-up Hoover 130-95. Hewitt-Trussville was third with 94 points.  Opelika, coached by Jimmy Johnson, also won the 6A boys’ title for the second straight year. The Bulldogs had 113 points and runner-up Homewood, 70.
   Thompson High School senior Emmanuel Tait captured firsts in the 110-meter hurdles, 300-meter intermediate hurdles and 100-meter dash – besting his own Class 7A records in each event. He won the 110 hurdles with a winning time of 14.0 seconds – 12/100ths of second better than the 14.12 time he had last year in the 7A competition. He broke that record Friday, however, in the prelims with a 13.90 time.
    He broke his own 7A record (38.83) in the 300 hurdles with a 37.90 time in Saturday’s finals. Triaon Poellnitz of Auburn (38.27) and Marion Humphrey of Hoover (38.30) also bettered Tait’s 2015 record to finish 2-3.  Tait clocked 10.93 to win the 100-meter finals Saturday – giving him 30 points personally  in three individual events.
    Brittley Humphrey of Hoover tied her own 7A record with her 42.46-second winning time in the 300-meter hurdles, and broke her own 7A record (13.74) in the 100-meter hurdles with a winning time of 13.49 seconds.  Teammate Caitlyn Little  was a close second at 13.79.
   Some other highlights from Saturday’s competition at Gulf Shoes included:

CLASS 7A GIRLS
800-Meter Run:
Presley Weems of Hoover broke her own 7A state record (2:12.53) running 2:08.99 to win the event Saturday. Her winning also became the best in AHSAA state meet history.
4x100-Meter Relay: Three relay teams bettered the 7A record set in 2015 with Hoover winning the event with a 47.23-second time. The Lady Bucs set the mark in 2015 at 48.03.  Auburn finished second Saturday running 47.51, and Sparkman was third at 47.87.
Shot Put: Huntsville’s Alana White and Thompson’s Sarah Owen each beat the existing 7A state record with throws of 39-07.75 and 38-02.25, respectively.
CLASS 6A GIRLS
100-Meter Dash:
Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn clocked 12.12 to win the event. The time was just shy of her 6A state-record time of 11.47 set in 2014. Kirkland also won the 200-meter dash in 23.78 seconds, also just short of her own record (23.65) set in 2014 as well.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
300-Meter Hurdles:
Morgan O’Neal of Sylacauga won with a 43.89-second time, erasing her own  5A record (44.11) set last year.
CLASS 4A GIRLS: Brooks’ Erin Jewell won the discus with a 4A-record setting 132-01.25 toss. Her throw broke the previous record (129-02.50) set by Nikita Burnette of Lincoln in 1993.
100-Meter Dash (Para Ambulatory): Emily Frederick of Hokes Bluff clocked 23.09 for Hokes Bluff. She also threw the discus 44-03.
CLASS 7A BOYS
800-Meter Run:
Spain Park’s Daniel Nixon and Hoover’s Tommy McDonough finished 1-2 with both runners beating the Class 7A state record of 1:54.49 set by Nixon in 2015. Nixon won the event Saturday with 1:53.11 and McDonough ran 1:54.39.
4x100-Meter Relay: Auburn broke its own 7A record in the prelims with a time of 40.74 seconds, then followed with a 41.78 time to win the event for the second year in a row.
4x400-Meter Relay:
Central-Phenix City closed the state meet’s final race with a state 7A record time of 3:52.68 to win the event. James Clemens (3:53.34), Smiths Station (3:54.56) and Hoover (3:55.57) also beat the record set in 2015 by Hoover (3:55.65) as the race concluded with a photo finish.
 Javelin:  Class 7A record holder Will Macoy won the competition for the second year in a row with a winning throw of 191 feet, 1 inch. That distance fell just shy of his 196-06 mark set last year.
100-Meter Dash (Wheelchair): Colin Lafon of Hewitt-Trussville crossed the finish line in 37.96 seconds.
Discus (Wheelchair): Colin Lafon of Hewitt-Trussvville had a 26-02 for his best distance.
CLASS 6A BOYS
100-Meter Dash:
In perhaps the best race of the boys’ competition, Nathanaiel Huggins of Opelika won in 10.82 seconds with four more runners finishing  under 10.98.   Velus Jones of Vigor was second at 10.864, and Okeem Moore of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa was third at 10.870.  Akeem Dudley of Park Crossing (10.93) and Deric Patton of Carroll-Ozark (10.98) rounded out the top five.
CLASS 4A BOYS
100-Meter Dash (Para Ambulatory):
Logan Langley of Hokes Bluff clocked 15.59 seconds for the Eagles.
Discus (Para Ambulatory): Hokes Bluff’s Logan Langley had a throw of 76-05, andf Nick Walls of Crossville had a toss of 59-01.



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