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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Four Girls, Four Boys Teams Claim State Titles Holly Pond High Jumper Knocks Down 34-Year Old Record In Final Day of Indoor Track Championships

       It took 34 years for the Class 1A-3A high jump record (6 feet, 4 inches) set by James Sanders to finally be beaten when Holly Pond sophomore Joey Cahoon cleared 6-5 just a few minutes after sealing his victory in the event as the only participant to clear the bar at 6-4.
     It took only 20 minutes, however for that new record to surpassed not once but twice.  Cahoon  cleared  6-6 and then 6-7  before finally missing three times at 6-8 Saturday as the 46th Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships came to a close at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
     Several  other records fell Saturday as eight state champions were crowned, four boys and four girls teams in four divisions.
     Capturing the Class 7A boys’ championship was Auburn with 116 points. Hoover was runner-up with 85.50 and Hewitt-Trussville third with 55. Hoover’s girls claimed the 7A championship scoring 123.50 points. Mountain Brook was second with 65 and James Clemens third with 65.
     In Class 6A, Homewood’s boys totaled 114 points to claim its third straight state indoor title nipping  Opelika, second with 98. Paul Bryant took third place with 60.50.  Peham won the girls’ 6A crown for the first time in school history. The Panthers had strong third-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay to finish with 105 points. It was just enough to hold off Homewood, which won the final race to finish second with 103 points. Opelika was third with 65.
    In Class 4A-5A, St. Paul’s Episcopal won its 21st girls’ indoor state championship. The title gives Coach Jim Tate’s Saints one more than Mountain Brook, which shared the state record for most titles coming into this season.  St. Pauls’ had 149 points; UMS-Wright was second with 93 and Columbia third with 43.
    UMS-Wright’s boys scored 88 points to win the 4A-5A state championship – its fourth title since the indoor track championship was reinstated in 2012. It extended the Bulldogs’ total to boys’ state record 14 for Coach Pat Galley. Columbia finished second with 78 points and St. Paul’s was third with 56.
       In the 1A-3A division, Winfield’s boys won the state championship with 135 points. American Christian was second with 81 and Westminster of Oak Mountain took third place with 75. Coach Charles Tiller’s American Christian girls totaled 96 points and won its first indoor state title at the CrossPlex. Cottage Hill Christian was second with 87 and Winfield was third with 50.
Class 7A Pole Vault Catches Crowd’s Attention 
     One state record that caught the attention of the entire CrossPlex crowd was Sean Collins’ assault of his own state indoor pole vault record (15 feet, 7 inches) set at the 2014 state meet. The McGill-Toolen senior was all alone in the Class 7A competition after 14-06 and then cleared the bar at 16 feet, 4 ¾ inches on his third try for the new record.
    The bar was then moved to 16-8¼ and Collins, with the crowd cheering loudly, tried three times – coming close but it did not clear. Teammate Chris Taylor took second with jumping 14-6 to take second place.
      One of the top overall individual performances, however, was turned in by sophomore Trey Cunningham of Winfield. 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.
    Deonte Tolbert of Auburn set the first ever 7A state record in the 400-meter dash Saturday and in the process ran the fastest time in the 46-year history of the AHSAA State Indoor Track Championships. Tolbert clocked 48.09 seconds in the final race of the event to beat the mark (48.11) set by Marlon Humphrey of Hoover in 2013 while competing in Class 6A. He also took third place in the 60-meter dash later in the day and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team.
     Woodlawn’s Jayla Kirkland came close in the Class 6A girls’ 400 with a winning time of 56.72. The record (56.18) was established by Hoover’s Joy Maneice-Marbury in 2012.  She then tied her own record (7.49) set in 2014 in the 60-meter dash.
    Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic added a third classification state record to her collection winning the 1,600 meters in Class 4A-5A with a 1,600 meters time of 5:01.36 time.
    Northridge’s Indyia Summerville set a new record in the Class 6A girls’ shot put with a toss of 41-9.
    Taylor Young of Altamont set a new 1A-3A girls’ triple jump record with her winning leap of 38-09.50.
    Kaitlin York of American Christian captured her third 1A-3A title of the meet running 5:10.65 in the 1,600 meters. She also helped the Lady Patriots win the 4x800 relay running the anchor leg.
     Mary Grace Strozier of Pelham also won her third race with a 5:04.69 in the 1,600 and also placed sixth in the 400-meter dash to give her 33 points in the Class 6A meet for the state champion Panthers.

Montgomery Catholic’s Tyynismaa Sets 2 AHSAA Indoor Records at Indoor Track Championships

    Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic blazed past the competition twice Friday to set two AHSAA state records as the 46th Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track & Field Championships got underway at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
    Tyynismaa, who set the state mark in winning the Class 4A state cross country title last November, broke a two-year old record in the 3,200 meters to win in a record time of 10:32.92. Winning by 41 seconds over her nearest competition, Tyynismaa established a new for Class 4A-5A as well as the overall state indoor record for all classes.
     Her time was her career best and was the second fastest high school time in the nation this season.  The eighth grader won the Class 4A state cross country title last November with an overall state record time of 17:03 in the 3.1 mile run.  Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen, now a student at Vanderbilt, held the previous indoor 3,200 mark with a time of 10:34.02 set in 2012.
    Tyynismaa followed the Friday morning performance with her second record-setting win in the 800-meter run later in the afternoon. Her 2:17.57 time toppled a record (2:18.16) set by J.O. Johnson’s Genoa Collins 13 years earlier in 2002.
     While Tyynismaa's performance Friday highlighted the individual competition, St. Paul’s and UMS-Wright slugged it out in the 4A-5A girls’ team competition to make it a two-team race heading into Saturday’s final day.  St. Paul’s had 66 points and UMS 63.50 after the first day’s results.
      Hoover had 46.50 points to lead the new Class 7A division with McGill-Toolen second with 34 points and James Clemens third wioth 30.50.   Pelham topped Class 6A with 43 points and Homewood had 37. American Christian’s 40 points give Coach Charles Tiller’s Lady Patriots a slim five-point lead over Cottage Hill Christian (35). Winfield is third with 28.
    In the boys’ competition, Auburn had 39 points, Hoover 32.50 and Oak Mountain 20 in Class 7A.  Homewood had a commanding 60-33 over second-place Opelika in Class 6A after one, UMS-Wright leads Class 4A-5A with 33 points and Winfield tops Class 1A-3A with 41. American Christian is right behind the Pirates with 31, and St. Paul’s trails Coach Pat Galle’s Bulldogs with 22 points.
     In addition to Tyynismaa, Magaret Ollinger of McGill-Toolen turned in an exceptional effort in the Class 7A set the AHSAA pole vault. Ollinger won the indoor state title last season with a Class 6A state record 12-feet, 1-inch jump. Friday, she cleared 12-04 to establish the first Class 7A record for her event. It is also the overall state record for all classes.
   Pelham’s Mary Grace Strozier of Pelham clocked 11:35.53 to claim the Class 6A 3,200 meters championship and also ran 2:17.05 to win the 800 race.
   Altamont’s Taylor Young broke her own Class 1A-4A long jump record set last year with a leap of 18-02.50 in the new Class 1A-3A division Friday. Kaitlin York of American Christian clocked 11:10.78 to win the first race of the day in 1A-3A. She followed with a 2:19.95 to also win the 800 meters race.
  Beauregard’s Kylee Carter won the 11th state championship of her prep career with a winning toss of 34 feet, 9 inches in the 4A-5A competition, and in the most exciting girls’ race of the first day, Abbey Weitenbeck of Huntsville nipped Frances Patrick of Mountain Brook by .39 seconds to win the Class 7A 3,200 meters. She clocked 11:14.03 and Patrick, 11:14.42. 
    In the boys’ competition, Opelika sprinter Nathanaiel Huggins ran the 60-meter dash in 6.87 seconds in the prelims Friday to set a new overall state record. The time erased the old record (6.89) set by Hoover’s Marlon Humphrey in 2013. He’ll have a chance to better that time Saturday in the finals.
    The top boys’ race of the first day also came in Class 6A. Homewood’s Andy Smith and Logan Sadler finished one-two in the 800 meters with only a second between them. Smith won running 1:58.41. Sadler clocked 1:59.38 and Gadsden City’s Hunter Nails was a close third at 1:59.50.
   A close second was the 1A-3A 800-meter race. American Christian’s Noah Karr recorded clocked a 2:01.11 to win in a photo finish over Scott Landers of Westminster of Oak Mountain. Landers crossed the finish line less than a second behind at 2:01.78. Jacob Carrell of Westminster was a close third at 2:02.08, followed by Garrett Clark of Winfield and Jack Anderson of Montgomery Academy 2:04.08 and 2:04.49, respectively.
    Since Class 7A is a new class this season, all winning performances will be a class record.
   Action resumes Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the final day’s events in all classes.

Wrestling Super Sectionals in Montgomery, Birmingham AHSAA 56th Indoor Track & Field Championships Set For Birmingham CrossPlex Friday and Saturday

   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






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.”

Central Board of Control Approves Revenue Sharing & State Track Sites

$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.

NFHS Lifts Jewelry Ban For Track & Field

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.

12 Records Set As 44th Indoor Track Championships Conclude

       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.

      One record fell with St. Paul’s winning the 4x400 relay in 4:09.50.

      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.

      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.


      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.

      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.