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Rules Changes Approved for High School Track and Field, Cross Country

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (July 7, 2015) – Beginning with the 2016 high school track and field season, the head starter (or designee), rather than the implement inspector, shall inspect all starting blocks used in the running events.

The addition of Article 4 to Rule 3-6 was one of eight changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 15-17 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

“The committee did significant work in cleaning up some confusion regarding trials and passes by expanding terms contained in definitions,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee. “Likewise, changes were made to include the use of flags in field events and update cross country rules to reflect the current trends in the sport.”

Rules 6-1-1 through 5 were amended to expand and clarify the definitions for trials/attempts in throwing events. Rule 6-2-9 concerning a competitor’s initiation of a trial was consequently affected by the change. Similar revisions were made to Rules 7-1-1 through 7 and Rule 7-2-12 so the same clarification and expansion of definitions apply.

Other significant track and field rules changes included the revision of Rule 3-10-7. The rule now states that “the head event judge may be equipped with both a white and red flag” to signal whether a throwing attempt is fair or foul. The change will allow for more efficient administration of field events and for improved communication between officials, coaches and fans, Oakes said.

In cross country, Rule 9-3-3 was revised to recommend the use of a video or photograph to verify the order of finish in races in which the timing system indicates a differential of one-tenth of a second or less. Having the video as a back-up and a process in place for problems that may arise from the use of a computerized transponder/chip system is a good solution, Oakes said.

Added to Rule 9-3 is the recommendation of a finish corral at cross country meets where transponders are used for the order of finish.

Other changes to cross country included an addition to Rule 9-1-3, which now allows the use of double painted boundary lines and/or natural or artificial boundary markers as an alternative method to mark the course for both runners and spectators.

The remaining changes to track and field concern equipment standards. Rule 6-5-2 was added, specifying the maximum allowed diameter for indoor shot put to account for the synthetic cover that is not present on the outdoor implement. Rule 6-6-1 was revised to allow for the use of newer javelin materials such as carbon fiber. Finally, Rule 7-6-3 was altered to recommend that the takeoff board for long jump and triple jump be eight inches wide, but still allow for larger boards.

Track and field is the second-most popular sport for boys with 580,321 participants in 16,271 schools and is the No. 1 sport for girls with 478,885 participants in 16,217 schools during the 2013-14 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. Cross country is the seventh-most popular sport for boys with 252,547 participants in 14,473 schools and is the sixth-most popular sport for girls with 218,121 participants in 14,267 schools.


Homewood’s Kiara Williams Wins Heptathlon McGill-Toolen’s Chris Taylor, Sean Collins Finish 1-2 in Decathlon Championships

   HOOVER – McGill-Toolen Catholic High School seniors Chris Taylor and Sean Collins finished 1-2 Tuesday in the AHSAA state decathlon championships at Hoover High School’s Mary Birdwell Track.
   The duo came in with the reputation as the AHSAA’s best pole-vaulting tandem in state history with Collins clearing a state-record 17 feet in the 2015 AHSAA outdoor track championships and Taylor clearing 15-7. Both finished 1-2 in the indoor state meet as well.
    At the decathlon completion, both showed their versatility and athletic prowess as Taylor won the championship with 6,160 points and Collins finished a close second with 6,103.
    Rounding out the Top 5 were first-day leader Jon Waarvik of Stanhope Elmore (5,990), Falkville’s Ryan Sullivan (5,242) and Drew Williams of Mountain Brook (5,236). Auburn athletes took the next four places with Mohamed Eljack (5,225), Hayden Williams (5,201), Timothy McCloud (5,166) and Christian Brandt (5,108) ranked in that order. Wilson Chandler of Wilson was 10th at 5,041.
     Taylor won the 110-meter hurdles (15.21), was second in the pole vault (14-5 1/4 ), second in the 400-meter dash and third in the 100-meter dash.  Collins broke Taylor’s pole vault record set in last year’s decathlon competition with a winning clearance of 16 feet, 8 ¾ inches. He also won the javelin with a winning throw of 167-4 and finished second in the 100-meter dash.
    A total of 40 athletes competed in 10 events each over the two-day meet.

Heptathlon Championships
  Kiara Williams of Homewood High School totaled 4,745 points to edge Hoover’s Brittley Humphrey to win the AHSAA state heptathlon championship Tuesday at Hoover High School’s Mary Birdwell Track. The girls competition included seven events.
    Humphrey, who set a heptathlon record in the 100-meter hurdles competition (14.35 seconds), totaled 4,470 points.
    Pelham’s Erin Hines was third with 4,428, Callie Jones of Cottage Hill Christian finished fourth at 4,402 and Anna Gierow of Bob Jones was fifth at 4,153.
    Williams won the long jump competition with a leap of 18 feet, 11 ¾ inches. She was also second to Humphrey in the 100-meter hurdles and 200-meter dash.

Stanhope Elmore’s Waarvik, Hoover’s Humphrey Lead Decathlon, Heptathlon After First Day

   HOOVER – Stanhope Elmore High School’s Jon Waarvik compiled 3,338 points through five events Monday to take the first-day lead in the 62nd annual AHSAA State Decathlon Championships being held at Hoover High School’s Mary Birdwell Track.
   Waarvik clocked 11.77 seconds in the 100-meter dash, which tied for third fastest behind Auburn’s Timothy McCloud (10.63) and McGill-Toolen Catholic pole vaulting champion Sean Collins (11.67). Waarvik won the long jump (21-04), was third in the shot put behind winner Matt Cahoon of Holly Pond,
and cleared 6 feet 4 ¼ inches in the high jump to finish second behind Drew Williams of Mountain Brook, who cleared 6-5 ½.
   McCloud also won the 400-meter dash Monday in 52.12 seconds and ranked second after day one with 3,105 points. McGill-Toolen’s Chris Taylor is third heading into Tuesday’s final five events with  3,069 points and Collins, who set the AHSAA indoor state pole vault record last February and then shattered the outdoor record with a 17-00 leap earlier this month, is fourth (3,050). Auburn’s Mohamed Eljack is fifth at 2,954.
    More than 40 participants are in the field. Day two resumes Tuesday at Hoover High  School at 9 a.m., with the boys competing in the 110-meter hurdles, discus, javelin, pole vault and 1,500 meters.
   Complete first-day results can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
    Hoover’s Brittley Humphrey leads Homewood’s Kiara Williams by 25 points in the heptathlon competition after the first day’s four events. The ladies are competing in seven events including the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200-meter dash Monday. Tuesday’s competition gets underway at 10 a.m., with long jump, javelin and 800 meters closing out the girls’ events.
    Humphrey turned in the fastest time in the 100-meter hurdles (14.35) and 200-meter dash (25.18) to amass 2,841 points. Williams, who had 2,816 points, was second in both the 100-meter hurdles and 200-dash.
    Erin Hines of Pelham is third with 2,621 points heading into Tuesday’s final day and Charlotte Krause of St. Paul’s, who cleared 5-5 ¼ in the high jump, is fourth with 2,580. Rounding out the top five is Bob Jones’ Anna Gierow with 2,538.  Thirty-seven girls competed Monday.
  The complete girls’ first-day results can also be found at www.ahsaa.com/sports/outdoor-track-field/

 

Falkville Claims Third Straight Boys’ Outdoor Title; Whitesburg Christian Wins First Girls’ Crown

    Falkville High School won its third straight AHSAA state outdoor track and field championship Saturday and five new champions were crowned as the 2015 Class 1A, 2A and 3A state championships closed its final day at new host site Cullman.
    The Blue Devils won Class 1A championships in 2013 and 2014 at Selma under the direction of Coach Keith Wilemon. Falkville moved to 2A this year and had to fend off arch-rival Cold Springs to claim the Class 2A crown.  Wilemon turned the head-coaching duties over to his son Jace, and son proved to be a fast learner.
    Falkville totaled 114.20 points and Cold Springs finished second with 104.70.
    Marion County won the Class 1A boys’ championship with 117 points. Westminster of Oak Mountain was second with 112 and Linden, third with 87.  Winfield won the Class 3A boys’ title over runner-up Montgomery Academy. Coach Steve Reaves’ Pirates had 108 points and the Eagles, last year’s Class 2A champs, had 77. Piedmont, the 2014 3A champions, totaled 70.50 to finished third.
     Whitesburg Christian posted 91 points in the Class 1A girls’ competition to win its first-ever state championship in any sport. Decatur Heritage was second with 83.50 and defending champion Westminster of Oak Mountain was third with 77.
    Altamont, directed by first-year head coach Jamie Rediker, won the Class 2A girls championship with 101 points to edge runner-up LaFayette, which scored 97.  American Christian Academy fended off Cottage Hill Christian to win the Class 3A girls’ crown. Coach Charles Tiller’s Patriots had 96 points and Cottage Hill had 94. Defending champion T.R. Miller was third with 79.
     Mathew Likely of Hillcrest Evergreen and Trey Cunningham of Winfield were among the outstanding student-athletes turning in record-setting performances Thursday.
CLASS 3A BOYS
Mathew Likely, Hillcrest-Evergreen:
Broke the Class 3A 100-meter dash record he had set Friday in the preliminaries with a 10.61-second winning time in the finals Saturday. The previous record (10.78),set by Jason Smoots of Litchfield in 1998, fell on Friday when Likely, a senior, clocked 10.65 to win his heat. Likely also won the 200-meter dash in 21.26 seconds to erase Smoots’ 200-meter record (21.82) also established the same year.
Trey Cunningham, Winfield:
For the second straight day Cunningham beat the Class 3A state record in the 110-meter hurdles with a winning time of 14.42 seconds. His 14.18-second time shattered the mark held by former Winfield hurdler Dominic Walls (14.49) since 2011.
Jack Barganier, Montgomery Academy and Nick Klein, Winfield:
Raced to a photo finish in the 3,200-meter race with Barganier winning with a time of 9:53.08. Klein was clocked at 9:53.38.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Bram Miller, Falkville:
Won the Class 2A high jump title with a 6-foot, 6-inch leap a year after winning the 1A state championship at the same height.
Brendan Tucker LaFayette and Josh Lucas, Tanner:
The two runners had a photo finish in the 110-meter hurdles with Tucker taking the win with a 15.332 time -- 3/thousandths of a second faster than Lucas who almost caught him at the finish line. While the times were a well short of the 13.73 state record set by Pierre Goode of Hazlewood in 1986, it turned out to be perhaps the best boys’ race of the day as both ran their personal bests.
Jartavious Whitlow, LaFayette: Set a new 2A state record in the long jump (23-04.75).
Lanett Relay Team: Clocked a 43.86 to win the 4x100 relay -- just missing the 2A state record .49/hundredths of  second.
CLASS 1A BOYS
Emelio Madero, Marion County
: Heaved the javelin 164 feet, 7 inches to win the competition by more than 15 feet.
Ben Abel, Victory Christian: Clocked 20.67 in the Class 1A para-ambulatory 100-meter dash -- earning  the respect of fellow runners after taking a hard spill at 50 meters but jumping back up quickly and finishing strong. His best time of the year was 18.04 seconds.
Tyler Crumpton, Phillips: Won the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles with times of 16.36 and 41.57 seconds, respectively.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Kaitlin York, American Christian:
Won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs for the state champion Patriots. Her winning time in the 3,200 Saturday morning was 11:04.77. She also ran a leg in American Christian’s winning 4x800-meter relay team.
Karri Green, Piedmont: Set a new 3A record in the 400-meter dash (57.44), won the 200-meter dash (25.39) and had two hurdles wins Saturday beating the competition in the 100-meter hurdles finals (14.87) and 300-meter intermediate hurdles (47.50).
Caitlyn Dressler, Cottage Hill Christian: Set a record in the 3A pole vault with a winning leap of 11 feet, 1 inch.
Callie Jones, Cottage Hill Christian: Won the triple jump with a 3A state record 38-05 leap and won the javelin gold with another 3A state record effort (136-05).
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Taylor Young, Altamont:
Won the long jump with a 16-09.50 leap and then set a Class 2A state record in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.64-second winning time. Natasha Stuckie of White Plains held the record (15.80), setting it in 2007. She closed a strong individual meet effort by winning the 300-meter hurdles in 46.32 -- falling just short of the 2A state record she set in 2013 and setting a record in the triple jump (38 feet).
CLASS 1A GIRLS
Ivy Edge, St. Bernard:
Set a Class 1A state record in the 800-meter run with a 2:19.68 time. Her effort broke one of the oldest girls’ records still standing. Joy Griffin of American Christian set the mark (2:22.15) 20 years ago in 1995.  She also helped the St. Bernard 4x800 relay team set a new 1A mark with a time of 10:06.74.
Kayla Pruitt, Lynn: The junior won the state shot put title with a winning toss of 37 feet, 7 ½ inches -- only three-quarters of an inch shy of setting the Class 1A state record. Shay Smith Loachapoka set the current record (37-08) in 2004. Pruitt followed with a record-setting performance to win the 1A girls’ javelin.  Her 129-foot, 7-inch throw beat the previous record (121-08) set by Falkville’s Tiana Drinkard in 2013. Pruitt also won the high jump and discus events.

Hoover, UMS-Wright Sweep Boys and Girls Titles in 7A and 4A

    Hoover and UMS-Wright high schools swept boys’ and girls’ state championships in Class 7A and 4A, respectively, as the 91st annual AHSAA State Track and Field Championships concluded Saturday at Gulf Shores.
   Hoover claimed both Class 7A crowns with the boys edging Auburn 131.33 to 121.50. Hewitt-Trussville was third with 54 points. Coach Devin Hind’s girls totaled 166.75 points with Mountain Brook second with 69.75. McGill-Toolen Catholic was a close third with 67.75.  The Bucs have now won boys’  titles in six of the seven seasons and the girls have won four championships in a row.  All previous titles were in Class 6A.
    UMS-Wright won its fifth straight Class 4A boys state championship and the Bulldogs’ girls also won the first xxth time in the lasy six years. Coach Pat Galle’s girls’ team ran away from the pack with 150.50 points. Brooks was second with 75.50 and Wilson finished third with 54.  UMS-Wright’s boys totaled 95 points, Wilson was second with 66 and Dadeville was right behind with 64.
    Homewood, the Class 5A girls’ champs in 2014, totaled 122.50 points to capture the 2015 Class 6A state title. Coach Thomas Esslinger’s team out-pointed Pelham by 43 points. The Lady Panthers were  second with 79.50 points, and Opelika was third with 57.  Opelika’s boys, coached by Jimmy Johnson,   won the 6A state championship Saturday amassing 121 points to edge Homewood’s boys. The Patriots had 106 points and Northridge was third with 65.
     In Class  5A, Coach Jim Tate’s St. Paul’s Episcopal boys totaled 90 points to win the state championship. St. Clair County was second with 66 points and Columbia was third with 53.50.   Beauregard, the 2014 Class 4A state champs, has little trouble moving to 5A as Coach Glenn Copeland’s Lady Hornets scored 139 points to win the state title. St. Paul’s was a close second with 133.50, and Columbia came in third with 71 points.
     Among the top boys’ performances Saturday:
CLASS 7A BOYS
Karon Delince, Central-Phenix City:
Won the first-ever Class 7A 200-meter final with a 21.55-second time. He also won the 200-meter dash title clocking 21.55 seconds in the finals.
Auburn 4x100-meter relay: The Tigers came close to the overall AHSAA state mark clocking 41.66 second to win Saturday’s relay finals.
Emmanuel Tait, Thompson: Won the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles with times of 14.12 and 38.83 seconds, respectively.
Will Macoy, Vestavia Hills: Threw the javelin 196 feet, 6 inches to set the 7A record in that event.
CLASS 6A BOYS
Nathanaiel Huggins, Opelika:
Clocked 10.49 seconds, the fastest 100-meter dash outdoor time in any division of the AHSAA state championships, to win the 6A finals. He followed with a 21.34-second winning time to capture the 6A 200-meter dash finals and closed out with a 47.02 time in the 400-meter dash to win the event just 4/100ths off the state record time of 46.98.
CLASS 5A BOYS
Sheldon Britton, Alabama Christian:
Had three golds winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
Alize Ford, Columbia: Improved his time from the prelims to the finals by a second to win the 200-meter finals Saturday. His 21.76-second winning time was less than 5/tenths of a second off the 5A state mark.
Gary Johnson, Douglas: Ran 10.79 in the 100-meter prelims, then followed with a 10:79 again in the finals to win the event.
Alize Ford, St. Clair County: Won the 200-meter dash in 21.76 seconds and finished second in the 400.
CLASS 4A BOYS
Robert Hope, UMS-Wright:
Won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and finished fifth in the 800 to leads the Bulldogs’ state-championship effort.
Jermaine Johnson, Leeds: Won the 100-meter dash in 10.95 seconds and the 200 in 22.79 seconds to take home two golds.
CLASS 7A GIRLS
Brittley Humphrey, Hoover: Shattered the overall AHSAA girls’ state record in the 100-meter hurdles with a 13.74-second winning time in the Class 7A finals Saturday. He set the 6A record and overall mark last year with a 14.00 time to win the Class 6A 100-meter hurdles event. Teammate Caitlyn Little  also broke Humphrey’s 2014 record with a 13.97 time to finish second in Saturday’s 7A finals. Little also ran the 100-meter dash finals in 11.97 to win that event and clocked 24.85 to win the Class 7A 200-meter dash.
CLASS 6A GIRLS
Jayla Kirkland, Woodlawn:
The state record holder in the Class 6A 100, 200 and 400-yard dashes won all three events again Saturday. Her times were excellent but did not not surpass the records she set last year.
Kiara Williams, Homewood: Won the 100--meter hurdles with a near-6A record 14.29 time and followed up with a win in the 300-meter hurdles. The set a record to win the long jump Friday and also won the triple jump for four golds for the state champion Patriots.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
Morgan O’Neal, Sylacauga:
Clocked 44.11 seconds in the Class 5A 300-meter hurdles to set a class state record. Courtney Golston of B.C. Rain set the previous record (44.24) in 2001.
Na'Asha Robinson, Butler:  Clocked 12.30 to win the 100-meter dash finals, then won the 200 and 400 dashes as well for three individual titles.
CLASS 4A GIRLS
Amaris Tyynismaa, Catholic
- Montgomery: Set a Class 4A state record in the 800-meter run (2:16.86) to give the eighth grader  a sweep of the three distance events. She set records in 3,200 and 1,600 as well.
Wilson 4x800 relay team:  Clocked 9:55.80 to set a new Class 4A record in the distance relay.
Gracie Hunt, UMS-Wright: Helped the Lady Bulldogs capture the state title winning the high jump, long jump and triple jump competition.

 

Defending Champions Take Leads After Day 2 of 4A-7A Track at Gulf Shores

       UMS-Wright High School built a 46-point lead over No. 2 Wilson heading into Saturday’s final day of Class 4A boys’ competition at the 91st annual AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Gulf Shores.
       Coach Pat Galle’s squad has won the previous four Class 4A outdoor state championships dating back 2011. UMS has 78 points and Wilson 32.  Galle’s girls also have a comfortable lead in the 4A girls competition with 66.50 points. DAR is second with 37.50 and Wilson is third with 36.
     Hoover, the Class 6A boys’ champ five of the last six years, leads Class 7A with 61.33 points in what could be shaping up to be an exciting finish Saturday. Auburn has 57.50 points and Oak Mountain is thirds with 29.33. In Class 6A, Homewood, the 2014 Class 5A state champion, had 62 points and holds a slim lead over Opelika (57.50) and Northridge (40).  St. Paul’s has 43 points to lead Class 5A with Madison County next with 34. Alabama Christian and St. Clair County close behind with 29 and 28 points respectively.
      Hoover’s girls lead Class 7A competition with 55.75 points with McGill-Toolen and Mountain Brook on their heels with 51.75 and 50.75 points, respectively. Huntsville is fourth with 38.  Homewood, the 5A champion in 2014, leads Class 6A’s girls with 68 points. Pelham has 42 and John Carroll Catholic 28. Beauregard, the 2014 Class 4A state girls’ champs, lead Class 5A with 61 points. St. Paul’s is second heading into Saturday with 51 and Helena is third with 30.
       Few records fell Friday. Some top performances included:
      Amaris Tyynismaa, Montgomery Catholic: Set a 4A state record in the 3,200-meter run Friday with a time of 10:53.15. She set a record Thursday in the 1,600.
     Wilson 4x400-Relay: The Wilson High School girls won the Class 4A relay with a record time of 9:55.80 seconds, beating the previous mark of 10:04.40 established by UMS-Wright in 2013.
      Isabel Valenzuela,  St Paul's: Won the Class 5A girls’ 3,200 meters with a winning time of 11:36.31 – her  second win of the 2015 competition. She won the 1,600 Thursday.
      Jayla Kirkland,  Woodlawn: Kirkland, the Class 6A record holder in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, had the fastest qualifying times in each race Friday clocking 11.69 seconds in the 100 and 24.58 in the 200.  She won the 400 Friday with a strong time of 57.21 seconds.
     Kiara Williams, Homewood: Set a new 6A record in the long jump with a winning leap of 20 feet, 5 ¼ inches to topple the previous mark (19-09.50) by Whitney Marsh of Mountain Brook in 2002. She also won the triple jump with a 39-09.50 distance.
     Caitlyn Miller, Hoover: Turned in the best qualifying times in the 100 and 200 dashes in Class 7A with times of 12.02 and 25.31 seconds, respectively. She also had the best qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles (14.35).
      Jermaine Johnson, Leeds: Had the best qualifying times in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in the Class 4A boys’ prelims with times of 11.02 and 22.80 seconds.
     Robert Hope, UMS-Wright: Followed Thursday’s Class 4A 1,600 meter win with a first-place finish in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:45.40.
    Gary Johnson, Douglas: Ran the 200-meter dash prelim in 22.38 seconds and the 100 prelim in 10.79 seconds for the best times in Class 5A.
    Nathanaiel Huggins, Opelika:  Won the Class 6A 400-meter dash in 47.02 seconds and had the fastest qualifying times in the 100 and 200 dashes. His 10.57-second time in the 100 was the fastest in any class Friday.
      Melvin Hill, Baker:  Cleared 6 feet, 6 inches to become the AHSAA’s first Class 7A boys’ champion in that event.

Close Races Emerge in First Day of 1A, 2A, 3A State Track at Cullman

    Close races have emerged at Cullman as Friday’s first round of the  91st AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded at Oliver Woodard Stadium.  Only one point separate three teams in the Class 1A boys’ competition heading into Saturday’s final round which gets underway at 8 a.m.
    Marion County totaled 49 points to hold slim lead over Westminster of Oak Mountain and Linden, each with 48 points.  In Class 2A, Falkville, the 2014 and 2013 state champs in Class 1A, holds a 32-31 lead over Cold Springs. Lanett is third with 20.  In the 3A boys’ team standings, Winfield posted 48 points and has  a one-point lead over Montgomery Academy (47).T.R. Miller has 42.50 points, defending 3A champ Piedmont and American Christian are tied for fourth with 31. Montgomery Academy moved up to 3A this season after winning the Class 2A championship the last two years.
     The team races are also close in the girls’ competition. Falkville and Altamont are tied with 30 points each to share the Class 2A lead. Providence Christian, Holy Spirit Catholic and Mobile Christian are right behind with 27 – setting up an exciting finish Saturday with all five having a clear chance to claim the state title.  Cottage Hill Christian leads Class 3A with 43 points. American Christian is second with 29 and defending champion T.R. Miller is third with 25. Decatur Heritage amassed 38.50 points to take the Class 1A lead. St. Bernard of Cullman is second with 33.50 and defending champion Westminster of Oak Mountain is third with 30.
     Several outstanding efforts highlighted the individual performances.
CLASS 1A GIRLS
Kaitlin Hill, Loachapoka:
Had near state-record times in qualifying first in the 100 and 200-meter dash prelims. Her 12.31 time in the 100 was just 24/100ths of a second off the 1A state record (12.07). She also clocked 25.70 in the 200.
Ivy Edge and Leahrose Mami, St. Bernard: Finished 1-2 in the 1,600 meters with season best times of 5:15.14 and 5:18.83.  Both ran a leg in St. Bernard’s record-setting 4x800-meter relay win (10:06.47) that beat the previous record set by Westminster last season by four seconds.
Summer Stewart, Meek: Set a new 1A pole vault record clearing 10 feet. The old record, set in 2007 by Anna Lindsey of Cedar Bluff, was 9-03.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Taylor Young, Altamont:
Had the best qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles prelims (15.93 seconds) and broke her own 2A state record in the triple jump with a 38-foot leap.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Karri Green, Piedmont:
Narrowly missed a new record in the 3A 200-meter dash clocking 25.61 to advance to Saturday’s finals. Simone Pugh of Cottage Hill set the current mark (25.10) in 2009. She also won the 400-meter dash with a 57.44-second time.
Callie Jones, Cottage Hill Christian: Threw the javelin 136 feet, 2 inches to set a 3A state record and narrowly missed a record in the long jump winning  with at 18-05.25.
CLASS 1A BOYS
Tomalaski Johnson, R.A. Hubbard:
Won the 400-meter dash with a 50.94 time and had the fastest 200-meter qualifying time clocking 22.36 seconds – coming close to Montavius Pitts’ state record time of  21.86 ran for Loachapoka in 2001.
Jacob Sanders, Marion County: Set a 1A state record clearing 12 feet to win the pole vault competition
CLASS 2A BOYS
Cameron Trammell, Lanett:
won the 400-meter dash with a 51.78 time, had the fastest qualifying time in the 200-meter prelims (22.69) and the second-fastest time in the 100-meter prelims.
Jartavious Whitlow, LaFayette:  Broke one of the oldest 2A records still standing with a 23-foot, 4 ¼-inch leap in the long jump to erase Hazlewood track star Pierre Goode’s   record (22-11) set in 1986.
CLASS 3A BOYS
Mathew Likely, Hillcrest-Evergreen: 
Ran  a 10.65-second time in the 100-meter dash prelims, setting up what should be a fast final Saturday since C.J. Savage of Piedmont clocked 10.79 in his prelim race. Likely also set a 2A state record in the 200-meter dash prelims – bettering Jason Smoot’s state record time of 21.98 set in 1998 as a Litchfield sprinter. Savage also qualified second with at 21.96.
Trey Cunningham, Winfield: Set a 3A state record in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.18-second time in the prelims and finished third in the triple jump.
Cedrick Tabb, Greensboro:  Broke former Greensboro teammate Quante Brown’s 3A state record with a 183-05 throw in the javelin competition.

McGill-Toolen’s Sean Collins becomes First to Clear 17 Feet to Win Class 7A Pole Vault

    The AHSAA’s most prolific boys’ pole vaulter in state history and two girls’ distance runners  took center stage Thursday as the AHSAA’s 91st  annual State Outdoor Track and Field Championships got underway at Gulf Shores for Classes 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A.
     The Class 1A, 2A, 3A State Championships will debut at Cullman High School’s Oliver Woodard Stadium Friday morning.  Both meets are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Links to the broadcasts can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
    McGill-Toolen Catholic senior Sean Collins became the first AHSAA competitor to clear 17 feet to win the Class 7A pole vault state title Thursday night at Gulf Shores. Collins’ best leap of the outdoor season was 16-08, almost four inches better than his record-setting  indoor height (16-04 ¾) last February in the AHSAA indoor state championships. He attempted 17-05 Thursday night three times but did not clear. Never-the-less, he came away as with the 7A and overall state record and a place in the AHSAA track record books  that will be talked about for years to come.
     Eighth grader Amaris Tyynisma of Montgomery Catholic beat her season best time of 5:05.06 by four seconds to set a new Class 4A state girls’ record in the 1,600 meters at Gulf Shores Thursday – clocking 5:01.38 to get the win. She already holds state indoor records in the 3,200 and 1,600 meters and set an all-time AHSAA girls’ cross country record last fall at the AHSAA cross country state championships with a 17:03 in the 3.1-mile race.  She will be running the 800 meters Friday and the 3,200 meters Saturday at Gulf Shores Complex.
      In Class 7A, where all championship times are state records in the AHSAA’s newest classification, Huntsville’s Abbey Weitenbeck ran 4:59.76 to win the first-ever 7A title in the 1,600 meters. Her time was 11 seconds off the pace of the state overall record (4:48.23) set in 2013 by Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen. Carlos now competes in the SEC at Vanderbilt.
     After three finals events, UMS-Wright leads Class 4A boys and girls with 30 and 31.50 points, respectively. In Class 5A, St. Paul’s leads the girls with 27 points and the boys with 23 points. The 5A girls had just two events posted.  Homewood tops the 6A point totals with 30 in the boys’ competition and 29 in the girls’ events.  McGill-Toolen Catholic leads the 7A girls with 31 points and Auburn tops the boys with 20 points. The pole vault, which finished late, had not been posted.
     Isabel Valenzuela of St. Paul’s Episcopsal won the 1,600 in Class 5A and Mary Grace Strozier of Pelham won in in Class 6A.
    On the boys’ side, two sprinters turned in near-record times in the 100-meter dash prelims. Gary Johnson of Douglas clocked his fastest time of the year (10.79 seconds) to pace all 5A qualifiers. Nathanaiel Huggins of Opelika also had his best time of the season with a 10.57 qualifying time in 6A, and Joshua Burks of James Clemens posted a 10.65 to lead Class 7A qualifiers.
   Robert Hope of UMS-Wright (4A), Sheldon Britton of Alabama Christian (5A), Andy Bryant of Homewood (6A) and Paul Barlow of Auburn (7A) each posted wins in boys’ 1,600-meter action.
    Several field events were completed Thursday.
   Among the  winners were:
Margaret Ollinger, McGill-Toolen:  The Class 6A record holder cleared 12 feet, 10 inches to establish Class 7A’s initial state record in the pole vault Thursday. She holds the 6A record with a 12-04 clearance last year and set the state 7A indoor record clearing 12-04¼ in February at the CrossPlex.
Gracie Hunt, UMS-Wright: Posted Class 4A wins in the triple jump (35 feet, 2 ½ inches) and high junp (5-02) to help the Lady Bulldogs take the first-day lead.
Christian Bell, Hoover: Won the boys’ 7A shot put with a 5-10 winning toss.
DeShaun Williams, St. Clair County: His 21-08 distance won the Class 5A boys’ long jump championship.
Results can be found at www.ahsaa.com at the live stats link.

Washington County’s Randall Coxwell Hurls Perfect Game to Clinch Area Title

   Washington County High School senior right-hander Randall Coxwell fired a perfect game to beat Southern Choctaw 7-0 Saturday as the Bulldogs claimed the Class 2A, Area 2 baseball championship with the win. The 6-foot-4 Coxwell struck out 17 and allowed four ground-ball outs to face only 21 batters in the seven-inning gem.  Two of the groundouts were back to the pitcher, thus giving him an even more direct hand in 19 of the 21 outs.
     Coxwell, who has signed with Shelton State Community College of Tuscaloosa, is currently 8-0 with two saves on the season with 87 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings pitched – 1.95 strikeouts per inning. He has walked only eight and has compiled a 0.30 ERA.
     “Randall is the most complete baseball player I have ever had the chance to coach,” said Washington County principal and head baseball coach David Wofford. “He is also on track to be our valedictorian.”
     Coxwell goes into this week’s games with 27 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He has allowed only three hits in that stretch – all singles – and has allowed only eight hits this season – and no extra base hits. He had threw only 71 pitches in the perfect game and had another complete game with only 57 pitches thrown.
     When he isn’t pitching, he is playing third base. He is hitting .500 with three home runs, three doubles and one triple.
     Wofford, currently the president of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, said he was pressed into coaching this year’s team when head coach Chris Wilson resigned to become Straughn High School’s head football coach before the season started.
    Several other top performances highlighted last week’s action.

LANE DICKERSON, COLBERT COUNTY: Hurled a five-inning no-hitter as the Indians beat Lexington 12-0 in a Class 3A, Area 16 baseball game. Dickerson struck out eight and walked three. He also slugged a grand slam to highlight a 10-run first inning and finished 4-for-4 at the plate. Teammate Peyton Stracener added two homers and four RBIs.

DILAN SAYER, EAST LIMESTONE:
Scored six goals on 10 shots-on-goal to help East Limestone beat Elkmont 10-0 in a  boys’ soccer match. Sayer, a senior, now has 28 goals on the season and 138 for his career. He currently ranks fifth in AHSAA history behind all-time career scoring leader Ryan Kirschbaum of Priceville, who scored 153 goals from 2002-06. Fairhope’s Ryan Strachan (2004-06) is second with 145 goals. Michael Ritch of St. James (1997-99) and Sam Tvrdy of St. Bernard (1995-99) are tied for third with 143 goals each. Sayer has scored six goals in a match twice and five goals once this season.

SEAN COLLINS, McGILL-TOOLEN: The Yellow Jackets’ senior pole vaulter, despite a strong head wind,  went over 17 feet for the second straight week as in the Challenge of Champions meet at Mobile last weekend.  His 17-feet, 3-inch leap set a new meet record and is the best of any AHSAA high schooler on record. Collins set the AHSAA indoor state record last February with a 16-4¾ clearance at the CrossPlex in Birmingham to win the Class 7A state title.
MARGARET OLLINGER, McGILL-TOOLEN: Ollinger, a junior, cleared 13-3 to set a new meet record for the girls at the Mobile Challenge of Champions meet. She set a new state indoor record winning the 7A title with going 12-4¼ at the CrossPlex.

AMARIS TYYNISMAA, MONTGOMERY-CATHOLIC:
Clocked the fastest prep 2-mile time in the nation with a winning time of 10:49.19 at Mobile last weekend. The eighth grader set a new overall 3,200-meter state record in the AHSAA state indoor meet and also set the overall state girls’ record in winning the Class 4A state cross country title last November.

MATHEW LIKELY, HILLCREST-EVERGREEN:
Clocked the AHSAA’s fastest 100-meter dash time of the 2015 season to win the Wiregrass Invitational Meet race in 10.42 seconds. He also won the 200-meter dash to lead Hillcrest to the boys’ team title at the met hosted by Charles Henderson High School in Troy.

DALE PALMER, SPARKMAN:
Coached the Lady Senators to the Bob Jones Invitational softball tournament championship and clinched the 806th win of his 19-year career. Sparkman (21-7) beat Louisville (KY) Male 5-2 in the finals to close out the competition with six wins in a row. MacKenzie Nutt hit .647 in the tournament with two doubles, two triples and two home runs.  Palmer’s 800th win came earlier in the week versus Section.

AHSAA Saddened of Elton Reece's Death

   The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of Elton Reece of Selma. He passed away Monday, March 30, in Birmingham after suffering a stroke.
   Mr. Reece, 67, was a coach most early adulthood and served many years as the Director of the Selma Parks and Recreation Department. He served the AHSAA by hosting the state outdoor track and field championships for more than two decades. When the Class 1A-3A state meet returned to Selma in 2012-2014, he served as coordinator of the meet.
   “We express our sincere condolences to Mr. Reece’s family and are very thankful for his service to the youth of this state,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.
    He served as head baseball and basketball coach at Selma High School for 18 years until 1991, winning more than 400 games during that span with more than 100 players going on to play collegiately. He served the city of Selma for more than 42 years, touching thousands of youth in Dallas County through his role with the recreation department from 1991 to 2015. He served as director from 1999 until his death. He was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.
   “You name it, he did it in recreation in Selma,” said Selma Mayor George Evans told the Selma Times-Journal. “It’s that simple. He was everything and you can never replace him and what he’s meant to this city in terms of recreation.”
       Reece was instrumental in bringing numerous sports events to Selma including baseball and softball tournaments, track meets, fishing tournaments, etc. He was considered one of the major ambassadors for the City of Selma.
      His funeral will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at Elkdale Baptist Church in Selma, where he served as deacon. Visitation will be at the church from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Thursday.