CULLMAN -- American Christian swept the Class 3A boys’ and girls’ state titles Saturday as the 93rd AHSAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded at Cullman High School. Whitesburg Christian and Altamont won the Class 1A and 2A girls’ state crowns, respectively while Westminster of Oak Mountain won the Class 1A boys championship.
The real drama came in the Class 2A boys’ competition where Cold Springs edged out St. Bernard and LaFayette to win the state crown. Cold Springs totaled 97 points, St. Bernard had 96 and LaFayette had 94.
When the 4xd400-meter relay concluded what was scheduled to be the last event of the meet, the pole vault competition was still underway. With that event still out, LaFayette had a slim lead six-point lead over St. Bernard and led by eight points over Cold springs.
Coach Blaise Cairie’s Panthers placed three pole vaulters in the points in what turned out to be an incredible finish in the final event of the day – which ended in a suspense-filled jump off for first place between St. Bernard ‘s Dominic Pautler and Falkville’s Devin Johnson. Both finished tied for first place clearing 13 feet and missing all three times at 13-03. The two vaulters then missed at 13 feet, cleared at 12-09 and 13 feet again, missed at 13-03 again and then ended the suspense when Johnson cleared at 13 feet and Pautler narrowly missed to give the Falkville vaulter first place and 10 points.
Pautler picked up eight points to give Coach Stephen Calvert’s team eight points and their total of 96. Blake Wood tied for third to pick up 5.50 points for Cold Springs. Teammate Trevor Slayton tied for fifth and picked up 3.50 points, and Eli Hamby was seventh – good for two points – a total of 11 in the event – and Cold Springs eeked out the 1-point win.
Altamont, coached by Jeff Rediker, won the 2A girls’ title with 127 points. Falkville was second with 103, St. Bernard was third with 72 and LaFayette was fourth with 71.50. Whitesburg Christian, coached by Dave McConnell, won the 1A girls’ championship with 139 points. Westminster of Oak Mountain was runner-up with 106. Coach Dale Carrell’s Westminster boys out-pointed runner-up Marion County in a close battle, 110 to 103. Isabella was third with 77.
Coach Charles Tiller’s American Christian girls and boys won the 3A titles handily with the Lady Patriots outscoring runner-up T.R. Miller 148-98. Bayside Academy was third with 90.
Tiller’s boys won with 140 points. Weaver finished strong to take second place with 55.50 points. Mobile Christian was third with 52.
Holly Pond was fourth with 44 points – with senior Matt Cahoon scoring 40 points with two record-setting victories in the discus (165-08) and shot put (48.10.75) and wins in the high jump (6-06) and javelin (165-01.
Three records fell at Cullman over the two days. Complete results can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The records included:
Class 3A Boys
Discus: Cahoon of Holly Pond, who posted 40 points in the 2017 meet, set a new discus record (165-08), beating the old mark (154-10) set by Daniel Blacksher of St. Paul’s Episcopal in 1985. Cahoon also set a new 3A shot put mark with his winning throw of 48-10.74. Devonta Fuqua of Lauderdale County set the previous record (48-04.75) n 2016. Cahoon also won the 3A high jump Saturday with a 6-06 leap but missed at 6-08, two inches shy of the 3A standard (6-10.25) set by Tyler Campbell of Cordova in 2008.
Class 3A Girls
Pole Vault: American Christian’s Helen Claire Edmonds cleared 11 feet, 2 inches to set the Class 3A mark for girls. Cailyn Dressler of Cottage Hill held the mark (11-01) since 2015. Edmonds also won the 300-meter hurdles in 48.26 and the triple jump with a winning leap of 36-06.75. She finished with 38 total points.