MONTGOMERY – Hoover High School opened the 2017-18 indoor track season in stride with victories in the first two meets of the season at the Birmingham CrossPlex to grab the first AHSAA Indoor Track Spotlight of the season.
Hoover’s boys and girls, the defending Class 7A state indoor champions, won the team competition at the Magic City Classic indoor track meet held Dec. 6 at the Birmingham CrossPlex over a field of 50 boys’ teams and 44 girls’ teams. Coach Devon Hind’s boys’ team had 144.50 points and runner-up Winfield had 86. Hind’s girls won with 96 points and St. Paul’s Episcopal was a close second with 89.
The Bucs also swept the boys’ and girls’ championships at the Holiday Invitational Dec. 9 at the CrossPlex with 107 and 93 points, respectively. Homewood was second with 63.50 points in the boys’ competition and 76 points in the girls’ division. Twenty-four schools participated overall.
The next high school meet at the CrossPlex is Saturday, Dec. 16, with the USTF Invitational. The Hoover Alumni Invitational is scheduled for Dec. 30, the Icebreaker Invitational, Jan. 5-6, the MLK Classic, Dec. 15 and the Last Chance Invitational, Jan. 25-26. The AHSAA Indoor State Championships will be at the CrossPlex Feb. 2-3.
Highlights from the first two indoor meets of the season at the CrossPlex include:
OKHEME MOORE, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Broke the Magic City Classic meet record in the Class 6A/7A division 400-meter dash finals with a time of 48.72 seconds – bettering the 49.55 record set by Xavier Rogers of Stanhope Elmore in 2016. However, Clinton (MS) sprinter Kristopher Moore won the race with an even better record-setting time of 48.14 seconds in the photo finish. Okheme Moore also won the Holiday Invitational 60-meter dash in 6.95 seconds and bettered his 400-meter time to 48.02 seconds. Clinton’s Kristopher Moore, however, won the event with a 47.89 time – setting a new record for the Holiday Invitational. Xavier Rogers of Stanhope Elmore, who set the previous record (49.95) last year, finished third with a time of 48.45, which also beat his 2016 time. A total of 86 runners competed in the 400-meter event.
JAMES COURSON, HOOVER: Won the Class 6A/7A pole vault at the Magic City Classic clearing 15 feet, 7 inches – and winning the event by 2½ feet over the closest competitor.
CARL NESBITT, VESTAVIA HILLS: Cleared 6-06 to win the Holiday Invitational high jump, tying the meet record set in 2015 by Drew Willilams of Mountain Brook, in the process.
J’MARRI McCALL, HOOVER: Set the Holiday Invitational meet record in the long jump with a winning distance of 21-06. The old mark of 21-05.75 was established by Daryl Bowden of Sparkman in 2016.
BIRMINGHAM – Coach Jim Tate’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Lady Saints captured the school’s 24th state title at the AHSAA ‘s 48th State Indoor Track Championships Saturday at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Hoover’s boys also snapped Auburn’s two-year dominance in Class 7A as the Bucs rolled to their seventh indoor title overall.
Coach Devin Hind’s Bucs accumulated 111 points en route to the Class 7A boys’ championship. Hewitt-Trussville, coached by David Dobbs, was second with 58 points. McGill-Toolen Catholic and Mountain Brook tied for third with 41.5 points each. The Lady Bucs also won the girls’ championship with a 123-point effort. Mountain Brook was runner-up with 78.5. James Clemens finished third with 63.
Opelika won its second Class 6A boys’ championship in a row scoring 89 points. Homewood was runner-up with 73, followed by Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s 54-point effort. On the girls’ side, Homewood totaled 151 points to finish first, and Opelika’s girls were second with 62. Pelham posted 60 points to finish third.
St. Paul’s had 85.5 points to win in Class 4A/5A and Montgomery Catholic finished second with 65. Central-Tuscaloosa had 43 points and finished third. The Saints have now won eight straight girls’ indoor state titles. Scottsboro won the Class 4A/5A boys’ championship with 103 points. Winfield, thanks in part to a 40-point effort by senior Trey Cunningham, was second with 73. Madison Academy was third with 39.
Coach Charles Tiller’s American Christian Patriots won the Class 1A/3A boys’ and girls’ state championships. The boys had 87 points, Holly Pond was second with 62 and Montgomery Academy finished third with 51. ACA’s girls amassed 121 points while runner-up Westminster of Oak Mountain was second 86, and Whitesburg Christian finished third with 77.
In the individual competition, Winfield’s Trey Cunningham set a new AHSAA indoor state meet overall and Class 4A/5A record in the 60-meter hurdles with a winning time of 7.54 seconds. That mark eclipsed the record he set in the prelims (7.58) and also topped former Hoover sprinter Marlon Humphrey’s previous state mark of 7.80 set in 2013. West Point’s Hunter Appling finished second in the 4A/5A finals with an 8.23 time. That also surpassed the previous 4A/5A mark set by Lezyon Lagard (8.30) of Central-Tuscaloosa in 2013. Appling broke that mark in the prelims as well clocking 8.27.
Cunningham, who also won the Class 4A/5A long jump Saturday to finish with 40 points in the meet, clocked 6.79 seconds to set the AHSAA all-time, all-class indoor state meet record in the Class 4A/5A 60-meter dash finals. The time was just 1/100ths of a second off his best time of the year (6.79) that he ran in the Last Chance Classic at the CrossPlex last weekend. The winning time also gave him a new 4A/5A record – closing his AHSAA indoor career with state meet records in the 60 overall, in 4A/5A and in 1A/3A. He also won the long jump Saturday with a 23-foot, 1-inch leap.
Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn also set a new overall and Class 4A/5A state meet record in the 60-meter dash Saturday with a 7.48 time. She held the mark with 7.49 in 2014 and 2015 in Class 6A. She holds the CrossPlex record as well with a 7.46 time she ran last weekend in the Last Chance Classic regular season meet.
Dan Passen of Xpress Timing, the official meet electronic timer, also set up a camera to get all runners’ 55-meter times in the two races. Cunningham’s time of 7.00 (6.998) tied the national record in that event set last year by Grant Holloway of Grassfield High School in Cheseapeake (VA) at a meet in New York City.
Cunningham’s time also surpassed the AHSAA overall state record (7.39) in the 55-meter hurdles, now discontinued. It was set by Hoover’s Chris Butler in 1998 at Priceville’s Celebration Arena. Cunningham was clocked at 6.33 seconds by the 55-meter clock in the 60 he ran Saturday. That too was faster than the AHSAA overall state mark in that discontinued event. Sidney Lanier’s Chris Chukuma established the record (6.46) in 1996. The high school national record in the 55 is 6.08 seconds, set by Marvin Bracey of Orlando-Boone High School (FL) in 2012.
Kirkland’s time at the 55-meter distance of her race was 6.95 seconds, faster than the AHSAA indoor state record (7.18) owned by Laquinta Aaron of N0rthridge in 2006.
Caitlyn Little of Hoover, who won the 60-meter hurdles, was clocked at 7.96 by the 55-meter clock. The AHSAA 55-meter dash indoor record (8.10) was set by Jihan Trone of Hewitt-Trussville in 2000. That event was discontinued after 2007.
Four runners broke the Class 7A girls’ 1,600-meter state meet record Saturday with Mountain Brook’s Anna Grace Morgan winning with a 4:59.96 time. Huntsville’s Abby Zane was second (5:04.74), Harper McGowan of Auburn (5:07.70) was third and Grace Jensen of McGill-Toolen Catholic (5:07.86) was fourth. Frances Patrick Mountain Brook set the previous record in 2016 (5:07.88).
Auburn’s Erik Ebel set a new CrossPlex record in the shot put with a winning throw of 58 feet, 11 inches in the Class 7A boys’ competition. He was still well short of the AHSAA’s oldest standing record, Frank Warren’s 63-foot, 6 ½-inch toss in the 1977 state meet for Phillips High School. Warren went on to have an outstanding football career at Auburn University and then spent 14 years in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints. The defensive tackle was also inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame. He is now deceased.
Highlights from Saturday’s races and field events:
CLASS 7A GIRLS
60-meter dash: Sparkman’s Lauryn Hall, who eclipsed the 7A indoor state meet record in the prelims, erased her own record (7.71) in the finals with a 7.66 time. Kayla Williams of James Clemens had the previous record of 7.73.
400-meter dash: Nicole Payne of Oak Mountain broke her own Class 7A state indoor record by 1/100th of a second to win in 55.24 seconds. The old record set last year was 55.25.
60-meter hurdles: Caitlyn Little of Hoover won the finals heat with an 8.56 time.
High Jump: Genesis Jones of Hoover tied the 7A indoor state record with a 5-04 height. Mountain Brook’s Julia Leonard set the record originally in 2015.
Triple Jump: Alonie Sutton of Smiths Station set a Class 7A record with a winning leap of 39-11.50. The old mark (38-07.50) was set by Kayla Williams of James Clemens in 2015.
4x800-meter relay: Hoover finished first with a winning time of 9:27.55.
4x400-meter relay: The Bucs ran the winning time of 3:59.64, just 11/100ths of a second off the 7A indoor record.
CLASS 6A GIRLS
60-meter dash: Jasmine Griffin’s 7.64 time gave the Homewood sprinter the victory.
60-meter hurdles: Walker’s Maddie Harrell won the finals heat with a 9.01-second time.
400-meter dash: Ann Mosely Whitsett of Homewood won in 58.71 seconds.
High Jump: Caroline Lawrence of Homewood cleared 5-04 to take first place.
Long Jump: Ghania Warren leaped 17-10.75 to win the event for Opelika.
4x400-meter relay: Homewood’s winning time of 3:54.26 set a new Class 6A indoor stat meet record. Hoover set the old mark (3:56.58) in 2014.
4x800-meter relay: Fort Payne won in 10:00.22.
CLASS 4A/5A GIRLS
400-meter dash: Senior Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn set a new class indoor state meet record with her winning time of 56.92. Iris Robinson of Parker had held the 4A/5A record (57.95) since 2012. Kirkland holds the CrossPlex record (54.43).
1,600-meter run: Class 4A/5A indoor state meet record holder Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic won with a 5:04.91 time. She was just shy of the record (5:01.36) she set in 2015.
Long Jump: Claire West of Madison Academy won with a 14-06 winning leap.
High Jump: Danielle Shears of Mortimer Jordan edged Jalyn Bowen of Brewbaker Tech. Each cleared 5-04 but Shears had fewer misses.
4x800-meter relay: St. Paul’s won easily with a time of 10:13.23.
4x400-meter relay: Central-Tuscaloosa sped to first place with a 4:12.06 finish.
CLASS 1A/3A GIRLS
60-meter dash: Payton Metcalf of Westminster-Oak Mountain had an 8.08 time to win the final heat. She also ran 8.08 Friday for the fastest time of the prelims.
60-meter hurdles: Kayleigh Atkins of American Christian won with a 9.35 time. Teammate Helen Claire Edmonds finished second at 9.70.
400-meter dash: Prattville Christian’s Jaime Drouin won with a 1:01.06 time.
1,600-meter run: Hannah Tarwater of Whitesburg Christian beat the field with a time of 5:14.22.
High Jump: Rachel Faucett of Pleasant Valley set a new 1A/3A high jump record clearing 5 feet, 7 inches. The old record (5-06) was set by Yutta Shelton of Randolph in 1981.
Triple Jump: Helen Clair Edmonds of American Christian won the event with a winning leap of 35 feet, 8 ¾ inches.
4x800-meter relay: Westminster of Oak Mountain won the race with a time of 10:22.96.
4x400-meter relay: Westminster also captured the final race of the 1A/3A girls’ competition with a time of 4:20.75, just a second off the 13-year-old state record set by Madison County in 2004.
BIRMINGHAM – The 47th AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Championships get underway Friday morning at the Birmingham CrossPlex and will conclude Saturday.
Action starts at 9 a.m. for field and running events Friday. Saturday’s schedule has field events getting underway at 8 a.m., and running events at 9 a.m. The NFHS Network will live-stream Saturday’s final day of competition at the CrossPlex with Jerry Young and Jon Lunceford handling play-by-play commentary and Taylor Narewski serving as color commentator. The live timing results are being provided by Xpress Timing will be available online at www.ahsaa.com.
Defending girls’ state champions are Hoover in 7A, Pelham in 6A, St. Paul’s Episcopal in 4A-5A and American Christian in 1A-3A. Coach Tim Tate’s St. Paul’s girls won their 21st team state title overall and fourth in a row since indoor track moved to the CrossPlex in 2012.
Defending boys’ champions are Auburn (7A), Homewood (6A), UMS-Wright (4A-5A) and Winfield (1A-3A).
Among the standouts in this year’s championships is junior Trey Cunningham of Winfield. He helped the Pirates claim the Class 1A-3A state title in 2015 with a record-setting performance. 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.
Cunningham turned in a 7.76-second time in the 60-meter hurdles at the Last Chance Invitational last weekend at the CrossPlex – a time that betters the state-record 7.80 mark set by Marlon Humphrey of Hoover at the 2013 state meet.
Junior Deante Tolbert led Auburn the first Class 7A title in AHSAA history last year with the fastest indoor 400-meter time (48.09 seconds) in the 46-year indoor state meet history. Opelika senior Nathanaiel Huggins also returns after setting the 60-meter dash indoor record last year running a 6.87 time in the Class 6A prelims. He has beat that time this season running 6.84 at the Ice Breaker Invitational in early January at the CrossPlex. He also has the fastest time of the season in the 400-meter dash (48.12), just 3/100ths off the state mark, in the same meet.
Junior Noah Igbinoghene of Hewitt-Trussville leaped 24 feet, 7½ inches in the long jump at the Martin Luther King Classic at the CrossPlex in January. That leap is just ¼ inch off the state mark set by Murphy’s Anthony Carter in the 1971 state meet at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum. That 45-year-old mark is the current standing state record in the AHSAA. Senior Michael Wiggins of Huntsville also jumped a state-best 49 feet, 3½ inches at the USATF Galleria Games in December, more than 15 inches better than the current state meet record (47-11¼) set by Spain Park’s Myles Charley in 2012.
In the girls’ competition, Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic, an eighth grader in 2015, set the 4A-5A state record in the 1,600 meters (5:01.36) and the state’s overall record in the indoor 3,200 (10:32.94). She returns this year as a freshman to lead the Lady Knights.
Junior Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn has run 7.46 seconds in the 60-meter dash this season to better her own state-meet record 7.49 time set in 2014 and equaled in 2015. Hoover senior Brittley Humphrey has also bettered her 60-meter hurdles state-meet record (8.54) set in 2014 with a winning time of 8.44 seconds in the Martin Luther King Classic last month.
McGill-Toolen Catholic senior Margaret Ollinger appears on pace to beat her own AHSAA state indoor pole vault record as well. She set the mark in 2015 clearing 12 feet, 4½ inches. Her season best so far in 2016 is 13-2¼ at the Last Chance Invitational last weekend.
Current AHSAA Indoor state-meet records can be found at www.ahsaa.com at the Indoor Track link.
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.