The AHSAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships are set to begin at 9 a.m. Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex with 1,391 student-athletes competing. The championships will conclude Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
The AHSAA Super Section Wrestling Championships are scheduled this weekend with the North Section at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex and the South Section is at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex.
For the first time since 1992, the indoor championships will feature include four high school divisions: Class 7A, Class 6A, Class 4A-5A and 1A-3A. Last year’s divisions were 6A, 5A, 1A-4A.
The 2015 state championships will be the first featuring the Class 7A division. That means a new division of state records and a chance for McGill-Toolen pole vaulter Margaret Ollinger to set a state mark in another division. She set the 6A indoor record last season clearing 12 feet, 1 inch to win the state crown. She has qualified this season with one of the top vaults in the nation (13-02.25).
McGill-Toolen also features two of the best prep boys pole vaulters in the nation with Sean Collins coming in with a career best 16 feet, 6.50 inches as his best leap. Teammate Chris Taylor has also cleared 15 feet this season. Collins also set the AHSAA indoor state meet record last season with a 15-07 winning vault.
Bram Miller, a Falkville junior who won the 1A state outdoor crown last season with a 6-6 clearance, is expected to make a serious run at the 1A-3A state record (6-4) set by James Sanders of Springville in 1981. Miller has cleared 6-10 in practice this winter and qualified for the state meet with a 6-2 jump.
Distance runner Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic comes in with qualifying times that could better or almost equal the state marks in Class 4A-5A. Tyynismaa shattered the AHSAA cross country overall state record in November running the 3.1-mile distance in 17:03. The eighth’s grader’s indoor qualifying times include 10:37.10 in the 3,200 – just three seconds of the record set by current Vanderbilt runner Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen. Carlos, who competed in Class 6A, also holds overall state indoor records in the 800 and 1,600.
Tyynismaa has a 5:00.18 best indoor time in the 1,600 this season – 11 seconds off Carlos’ record pace but nine seconds better than the current 4A-5A record.
The AHSAA Indoor Championships were first held at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum in 1966. The indoor door championships later moved to Priceville’s Celebration Arena on the same wooden track used at Montgomery. However, the AHSAA discontinued the indoor championships for one year in 1993 while repairs were being made and then shut down the competition from 2008-2012 for safety reasons once again with the promise of the current world-class CrossPlex facility to be constructed. The AHSAA reinstated indoor track as a championship at the CrossPlex in 2012.
Last year’s state champions for girls were Hoover (6A), St. Paul’s (5A) and Beauregard (1A-4A). This year, St. Paul’s and Beauregard are in the same division (4A-5A) along with perennial power UMS-Wright. Boys’ champions in 2014 were Hoover (6A), Homewood (5A) and UMS-Wright (1A-4A). Hoover is now competing in 7A, Homewood moved up to 6A and UMS-Wright is in the new 4A-5A division.
Super Section Wrestling: Competition in three divisions (7A, 6A and 1A-5A) commences at 10 a.m. Friday and 9:30 Saturday morning. Matches will continue on a rolling schedule until the meet ends Saturday afternoon. Qualifiers will advance to the 60th AHSAA State Wrestling Championships scheduled at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center Feb. 12-14.
Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 1, 2014) — Gill Athletics, the oldest and largest manufacturer of track and field equipment in the United States and around the world, has entered into a three-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.
As a part of the agreement, Gill Athletics, based in Champaign, Illinois, will be the exclusive NFHS partner for track and field, which will include coverage in the sport’s rules book, case book, rules poster, scorebook and rules PowerPoint.
“We are pleased to have Gill Athletics join the NFHS as a corporate partner and to be our exclusive sponsor of track and field,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “In the high school market, Gill has been the leading supplier of track and field equipment for many years, so we believe this is a great partnership for both organizations. Track and field is No. 2 in school sponsorship for both boys and girls, so it is great to have Gill on board with the NFHS. We look forward to working with Gill over the next three years.”
Started by Harry Gill in 1918, Gill Athletics is the largest producer of track and field equipment in the world. Gill is the Official Equipment Supplier of USA Track and Field and currently produces more International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-certified products than any company in the industry.
“Gill Athletics considers it an honor to partner with the NFHS as its track and field equipment sponsor,” said Fred Dixon, national sales manager for Gill Athletics. “We could not have any greater appreciation for the work done by the NFHS, and we look forward to providing our full support for years to come.”
$1.4 Million In Revenue Sharing, Track Championship Sites Approved By Central Board of Control
The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control for the second straight year approved returning $1.4 million to its member schools under its Revenue Sharing Plan. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery. The Central Board also approved Gulf Shores (4A, 5A, 6A, 7A) and Cullman (1A, 2A, 3A) as host sites for the AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the next three years (2015-17).
The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Wednesday.
The Revenue Sharing Plan, approved first by the Central Board in 2009, will have returned $6 million to its member schools in the five years of the program once 2013-14 school year payments are sent out next month. The formula for the distribution of funds includes a differential between classifications and the number of sports played by non-football-playing schools. The plan returns excess funds back to the schools when the AHSAA has at least one year’s working capital in reserve.
Also, for the 22th consecutive year, the Central Board voted to waive membership dues to all member schools – a cost savings of more than $75,000 annually.
“I want to thank the Central Board for their strong leadership,” said Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Returning another $1.4 million to our schools and waiving the annual membership dues are certainly important boosts to the financial well being of our schools.”
The board also approved area and section adjustments and championshionip play for soccer to the following groupings: Class 1A-3A, Class 4A-5A, Class 6A and Class 7A. The move reduces travel for member schools, more equally aligns each group and also accommodates the growth in boys and girls soccer.
Three new Central Board members were also sworn in by AHSAA Associate Executive Director Tony Stallworth, including Dr. Stephanie Robinson, principal of Fultondale High School; Darren Douthitt, Superintendent of Education of Anniston Schools; and Larry Raines, representing the Alabama State Board of Education.
In other Central Board action:
– Approved the financial reports for the spring championships in soccer, softball, baseball and track. Attendance and revenue was up overall from 2013.
– Approved a new catastrophic insurance plan for member schools, beginning 2014-15, and a new plan for calculating catastrophic insurance premiums. The Board was also updated on all AHSAA insurance coverage.
– Reviewed and approved all changes for the 2014-15 AHSAA publications.
– Approved the 2014-15 budgets for the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association and the 2013-14 audits for each group.
– Approved new track officials requirements.
– Approved adjustment to the fee structure for District Compliance Officers who conduct school audits.
– Approved middle school football jamborees on Saturday during the annual Champions Challenge.
– Voted to continue prohibiting member schools from competing in post-season national championship play as per current NFHS regulations.
– Gave approval to Knight Eady, the AHSAA’s new marketing partner, to procede with new AHSAA logo designs as well as Super 7 Football Championship and State Basketball Tournament logo designs.
– Heard a report from Denise Ainsworth that the AHSAA Five-Year Strategic Plan is ahead of schedule with 21 of 24 items now already completed.
– Heard a request by Briarwood Christian School Athletic Director Terry Davis to provide more stringent regulations for spring sports, especially baseball, softball, tennis and golf.
Action by the AHSAA Legislative Council, which met in the afternoon:
– Heard a review of the Central Board action.
– Reviewed and approved all changes for the 2014-15 AHSAA publications.
Jewelry Prohibition Lifted in High School Track and Field
INDIANAPOLIS — Effective with the 2015 high school track and field season, the prohibition of jewelry will be eliminated. This was one of several rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee at its June 16-18 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee, said the committee determined that prohibiting jewelry in high school track and field and cross country is not necessary.
“The wearing of jewelry ordinarily presents little risk of injury to either the competitor or opponents,” Oakes said. “Elimination of the rule allows officials to focus on meet administration directly related to actual competition. Coaches continue to have the obligation to see that competitors are properly equipped.”
In other changes, language regarding the time limit to initiate a trial in the throwing and jumping events was revised. Previously, competitors in these events had to initiate a trial and carry it to completion within one minute. Beginning next year, participants must only initiate the trial within the one-minute time limit. Completion of the event will be allowed beyond the prescribed time.
Another change was made in field events involving implements. In events such as the shot put, discus, javelin and pole vault, an additional trial will be allowed when an implement breaks – and thus becomes illegal – during competition due to no fault of the competitor.
The revised note in Rules 6-2-17 and 7-2-17 reads as follows: “If a legal implement breaks during an attempt in accordance with the rules, no penalty shall be counted against the competitor and a replacement trial shall be awarded. If the implement breaks upon completion of the trial, a replacement attempt shall not be awarded and the results of the trial shall be recorded, provided it was made in accordance with the rules.”
In the discus throw, it no longer will be a foul if a competitor is out of control when exiting the back half of the circle. Also, in the discus, shot put and javelin, the requirement for the judge to call “mark” was eliminated.
Another change involves the high jump and pole vault events. A new article in Rule 7-2 will state that “a crossbar displaced by a force disassociated with the competitor after he/she is legally and clearly over the crossbar shall not be a fault and is considered a successful attempt.”
In Rule 8 involving special events, the committee approved the 1,500-meter run as an alternate for the 1,600-meter run in the decathlon and pentathlon. Oakes said when using the IAAF standard scoring, the 1,500-meter run is the standard distance. In addition, the indoor weight throw was approved for the listing of special events.
The final change involves Rule 1-4 on indoor track. Since many indoor meets are held in college facilities, the committee approved the 60-meter high hurdles and dash as alternates for the 55-meter high hurdles and dash. Oakes said this option eliminates special marking of the facilities for the hurdles and dash.
Beauregard won its first girls’ state title scoring 94 points to claim the Class 1A-4A championship as the 44th AHSAA State Indoor Track Championships concluded Tuesday at Birmingham’s CrossPlex. St. Paul’s tied a state record held by Mountain Brook by winning its 20th girls’ state crown.
UMS-Wright was runner-up to Beauregard with 71 points and Westminster at Oak Mountain was third with 58.
St. Paul’s posted 144 points to win the Class 5A girls championship and Homewood had 120 to take second place.
Hoover won the 6A girls’ crown for the first time since 2006. The Lady Bucs had 130 points and runner-up Pelham totaled 72.
In the boys’ competition, Coach Devon Hind’s Bucs made it a sweep as Hoover took the 6A crown with 90 points. Auburn was second with 71 points and Opelika third with 64.
Homewood won its second straight 5A boys’ title with 125 points and St. Paul’s was second with 73.
UMS-Wright captured the 1A-4A state boys’ title with 71.50 points. Montgomery Academy was second with 59 and Dadeville was a close third with 52.
A total of 12 state indoor records were either tied or broken Tuesday for a total of 25 during the two-day meet.
Highlights of Tuesday’s competition included:
CLASS 6A Girls
Brittley Humphrey and Sarah Sanford finished 1-2 in the 6A finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Humphrey, who broke her own state record in the prelims Monday, ran 8.54 to beat her time of 8.71 to set yet another record. Sanford ran a sterling 9.0 time, which bettered the state record times in Class 5A and Class 1A-4A.
Woodlawn’s Jayla Kirkland, who ran the nation’s seventh fastest prep indoor 60-meter time this season in Monday’s 60-meter prelims, topped that 7.50 mark with a winning time of 7.49 in the finals. Reigning champion Caitland Smith of Pelham was second with a 7.51 time.
Hoover’s 4x400 relay team also set a new state mark with a winning time of 3:56.58.
In what may have been the closest 400-meter girls’ race in state history, Pelham’s Smith and Hoover’s Sanford finished 1-2, just .03 seconds apart. Smith won in 56.51 seconds and Sanford, who lunged and did a complete tumble roll at the finish line, clocked 56.54. The times were just .36 and .39 off the state mark set by Joy Maneice-Marbury of Hoover in 2012.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
One record fell with St. Paul’s winning the 4x400 relay in 4:09.50.
CLASS 1A-4A GIRLS
Lincoln’s Shelbi White clocked 57.89 seconds in the 400-meter dash in the first event of the day and set a new Class 1A-4A state record. She edged Katie Brooks Boone of Westminster at Oak Mountain, who set the state mark last year with a 58.36 time. Boone ran 59.54.
Boone won the 60-meter dash with a 1A-4A state record 7.70. She also set the record last year with a 7.75.
CLASS 6A BOYS
Jaalen Jones of Thompson tied the indoor mark in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.89 seconds. Marlon Humphrey, who was injured in the long jump Monday and did not compete in any event Tuesday, set the 6.89 mark in 2013.
The 1,600-meter race turned out to be a sprint to the finish as Auburn’s Dylan Ogburn edged Austin Norwood of Hewitt-Trussville by .88 seconds in the best boys’ race of the day. Ogburn clocked 4:30.06 and Norwood 4:30.94.
CLASS 5A BOYS
Harrison Dudley of Paul Bryant won the Class 5A 400-meter dash in 48.68 seconds, setting a new state record. Hunter Hawkins of Walker held the record since his 49.97 time in 2012.
In the 5A boys’ 1,600-meter race, no record was set but Andy Smith of Homewood pulled past teammate Alex Ngei at the finish line to claim the championship in 4:35.62. Ngei’s second-place time was 4:57.14.
Homewood followed up with a state-record effort in the 4x800-meter relay. The Patriots clocked 8:19.17 to win and eclipsed the previous record set by Walker in 2012 by .37 seconds. The Vikings clocked 8:19.56.
Paul Bryant also set a 5A record in the 4x400 relay with a winning time of 3:25.71.
CLASS 1A-4A BOYS
Ismail Saleem of St. Jude broke the Class 1A-4A state record he set Monday in the 60-meter dash prelims with a 7.03 time in the finals. He ran 7.10 Monday.
Montgomery Academy also set a record in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:36.59.