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AHSAA Alabama State

Friday-Saturday, May 7-9, 2009 - Gulf Shores AL
DyeStat onsite with Arthur Mack

Day 1: Hoppis comes through on final throw

American Christian Academy’s Rebekah Hoppis breaks state 2A discus record on final attempt for one of four record-breaking performances; T. R. Miller’s Terez Lane snags three wins in 3A boys’ competition.


GULF SHORES, ALA—It all came down to the last throw.

American Christian Academy’s Rebekah Hoppis, the defending champion in the 2A discus, trailed Mobile Christian’s Kristin Brining at the Alabama High Athletic Association’s Track and Field Championships at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex.

Brining had thrown a personal best of 114 feet, 10 ¼ inches on her last attempt, which gave her the lead.  Meanwhile, Hoppis was struggling, unable to break 111 feet. Obviously, it was do or die for the defending champion.

Somehow, Hoppis reached down and put it all together on her last throw, and uncorked a state-record 123-9 to win the event—six feet better than her previous personal best.

“I just needed to go faster on my spin,” said Hoppis, who shed tears of joy after setting the record.  “Until then, nothing seemed to be going right. I just thank God I was able to come through.”

Brining, a sophomore, certainly had nothing to be ashamed of with her personal best throw, either.

“I was really nervous coming into the competition, and I just wanted to do my best,” she said.  “Right now I’m really feeling good.”

Hoppis’ record was one of four in the 1A-2A-3A portion of the state meet.  Another record-breaking performance came in the 3A girls’ pole vault, where Bayside Academy’s Sophie Bru won the event for the third year in a row, and went 9-9 to break the existing state meet record.

“It’s definitely exciting to break the record in your senior year,” said Bru, who plans to attend Villanova University.  “The only thing I was thinking about when I was trying to break the record was just to pull up and elevate.”

Another state meet record came in the 1A boys’ javelin, where Brilliant’s Judson Davis broke the old record of 156-0 set by Gaston’s Jared Boyle last year.  Davis threw 173-2 to win the event.  Boyle threw 168-1 to also eclipse his old record, as did Billingsley’s Jamar Hopson (158-5).

Cottage Hill Christian’s Simone Pugh broke the 3A girls’ 200-meter record in the prelims, running 25.21 to break to break the old standard of 25.23 set by Laquita Sashington of Sheffield in 2003. 

Here is a recap of the first day:

3A:  By far, the top 3A performance of the day came from Brewton T. R. Miller’s Terez Lane.  Lane not only won the 300-meter hurdles in 40.86 seconds, but also won the triple jump (46-3 ¼), and the high jump (6-6).  His performance played a big role in the Tigers’ taking a 49-42 lead over Winfield in day one.

Lane’s performance was all the more remarkable considering that he had very little recovery time between the 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump.

“I just tried my best today,” he said.  “I felt great today, and the wind was at my back in the triple jump. I just wanted to hit the board as hard as I could, and keep my head up high and get points for our team.”

Another strong performance came from Bayside Academy’s Stewart Shoemaker, who won the 1,600 going away in 4:37.95

On the 3A girls’ side, Altamont led T. R. Miller 39-37 after day one.  Altamont’s big win came in the 300-meter hurdles, where Lillie Ratliff defeated Bayside Academy’s Alona Melendez 46.86 to 47.83.  But the day belonged to Pugh, who in addition to the 200 record, won the long jump (17-5) and had the best time in the 100-meter prelims (12.23) .

2A: It was a good day for Mobile Christian’s Jourdan Battiste.

Battiste’s wins in the long jump (21-1 ¼) and triple jump (personal best 45-0) plus a second place finish in the 300-meter hurdles (41.69), gave the Leopards a 42-34 lead over Cold Springs.  Battiste said he got a little bit of motivation in the triple jump after another competitor cracked the 40-foot mark.

“When I saw that, I thought ‘Uh oh,’” Battiste said.  “But it was great to get that personal best, and I was doing it for my mom.”

Cold Springs’ best performance came in a 1-2 finish from Nathan and Nick Lewis in the 1,600 (4:36.47 and 4:36.95 respectively).

Another good performance came from Falkville’s Jace Wilemon, who won the 300-meter hurdles in 39.72.  Wilemon also finished second in the 400 (51.15).

Hoppis added a javelin win (132-9) to go with her record-breaking performance in the discus to help give American Christian a 56-26 lead over Falkville in 2A girls’ competition.  ACA also got wins in the 4 X 800 meter relay (11:04.22) and in the 400 from Rebekah Rhodes in the 400 (1:02.45).

Falkville got a win from Paige McCarley in the triple jump (35-5 1/2).

1A: Cedar Bluff ruled the boys and girls’ competition, each getting leads after the first day.

Cedar Bluff’s boys got a 1-2-3 pole vault finish from Idral Bowen (11-6), Gabriel Moore (11-0), and Tony McGinnis (10-0) to take a 66-51 lead over Billingsley.  Bowen’s 11-6, in fact, tied the meet record set by Donoho’s Geoff Miller in 2005.

Billingsley got double wins from Jay Tyus in the high jump (6-0) and the 300-meter hurdles (43.37).

On the girls’ side, Cedar Bluff got three first places—including a 4 X 800 victory (11:37.12) to take a 76.50 to 44.50 lead over Westminster School, which got wins in the 400 from Katiebrooks Boone (1:00.63) and Morgan Reynolds in the 1,600 (5:50.18).

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