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AHSAA Alabama State

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

1A2A3A - Day 2: Harris caps a memorable day

Individual stars: A day after an easy win in the 400, Lanett’s James Harris soars record 6-10 in 2A HJ, comes back moments later with record 21.83 200; more records: Simone Pugh 3A girls 200, Ryland Robbins 3A boys jav; Katelin Barber 1A girls 100

Championship efforts: T.R. Miller dominates boys 3A; Altamont wins close 3A girls battle; easy 2A titles to Mobile Christian boys, American Christian girls; Cedar Bluff sweeps 1A titles


GULF SHORES, May 8—Many track and field fans feel that when the lower classifications in a state meet compete, there are not too many good performances.

Such was not the case at the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 1A-2A-3A state meet at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex. Lanett’s James Harris made sure of that.

The tall junior made the 1A-2A-3A championships one to remember, breaking not one, but two state records. Harris went 6-10 in the 2A high jump to break the old record of 6-6, and then, shattered a 24 year-old record in the 200-meter dash by running 21.83. The old 200 meter record was 22.04 set by Edward Smith of Warrior in 1985.

In addition, Harris also won the 400 in 49.12.

“I felt real confident coming into the meet,” said Harris. “About 2 ½ weeks ago, one of my assistant principals taught me some technique about the high jump, and that helped me a lot. I was also looking to get the record in the 200. I was trying to get it for my newborn nephew, so there was a lot of motivation. Also, I always wanted my grandfather to watch me run, but he passed away last October. I’m sure he’s smiling down on me now.”

Harris was not the only one bitten by the record-breaking bug. Mobile Cottage Hill Christian’s Simone Pugh broke the 3A 200 meter of 25.21 she set in the prelims the day before with a 25.10. Pugh also won the 100 in 12.12.

“I was pretty nervous coming into the 200 because everybody was bringing their A game,” she said. “But by practicing, it made me stronger in reaction with the gun. I was comfortable coming out of the blocks and stayed focused.”

Another record came in the 3A boys’ javelin, where Randolph’s Ryland Robbins led a quartet of throwers in breaking the old record of 158-6 ¾ set by Desmond Holloway of LaFayette. Robbins threw 168-0.

Yet another record fell, this time in 1A girls’ competition, as Belgreen’s Katelin Barber shattered the 100-meter record with a 12.07, besting the old mark of 12.30 set by Keisha Sanders of Paint Rock in 1995. Barber also won the 200 in 25.77

Brewton’s T. R. Miller won the 3A boys title, defeating Winfield 140-80. Altamont of Birmingham was third with 783 and Randolph fourth with 51. On the 3A girls’ side, it was Altamont besting T.R. Miller 95-81, with Bayside Academy third with 71 points and Montgomery Academy fourth with 63.50.

In 2A boys, Mobile Christian won the meet the old-fashioned way—it scored in a lot of events to defeat Cold Springs 108-83. Lanett was third with 75.50 and defending champion Falkville was fourth with 74. In 2A girls, American Christian trounced Falkville 189.50 to 86, with Mobile Christian third with 72 points and Cold Springs fourth with 49.

Cedar Bluff swept both the 1A boys and girls. The boys contended with a tough challenge from Billingsley before prevailing 127-111. The Alabama School for the deaf was third with 100 points. Cedar Bluff’s girls defeated Westminster 156.50-108.50, with Vina third with 61 points.

Here is a recap of the last day of the 1A-2A-3A meet:

3A: T.R. Miller extended its lead in day two with a solid win in the 4 X 100 meter relay (44.43). But once again, Terez Lane came through with a big jump—this time in the long jump. Lane was in second place coming up to his final attempt in the finals, but came through with a 21-foot, 5 ½ inch leap to take top honors and seal the deal for the Tigers.

“I was a little nervous, but I prayed and took off and left it in God’s hands,” said Lane, who won the 300-meter hurdles, high jump, and triple jump the day before. “Words can’t describe how I feel right now about our team. I was just trying to get the most points I could for the team.”

“It was a total team effort, and this is a good group of guys to work with,” said Miller coach Eddie Brundidge. “I had a good feeling coming into the second day because we had a lot of depth, and I knew we had the potential to do well.”

Other highlights of the meet were Bayside Academy’s Stewart Shoemaker adding to his 1,600-meter win with victories in the 800 (1:59.74) and the 3,200 (10:24.21).

In 3A girls, Altamont’s Sarah Eckinger and Lillie Ratliff won other events—Eckinger the 800 (2:27.79), and Ratliff the 100-meter hurdles in 15.98—to help their team cruise to the title.

Bayside Academy’s Shelby Builta got her second victory of the meet—this time in the discus as she threw a personal best 117-4.

“In the past few weeks, I‘ve improved by leaps and bounds,” she said. “All glory to God, because all the hard work finally paid off.”

2A: Mobile Christian’s boys poured it on in day two of competition, piling up points galore in several events. None of them, though, were bigger than Colby Herrington’s win in the 800.

Herrington and Falkville’s Jace Wilemon were engaged in a fierce battle in the 800 to the finish, and both became tangled up at the finish and fell. After an official’s ruling, Wilemon was disqualified, giving Herrington the win with a 2:04.94. But Herrington felt that Wilemon got a raw deal.

“I don’t think he (Wilemon) should have been disqualified,” said Herrington. “He’s a great competitor. We were in a sprint to the finish and we were bumping elbow to elbow. I just thing he tripped over me.”

Nevertheless, the ruling stood, and the Leopards wound up with 10 big points, which all but sealed the win.

As for Cold Springs, it put up a fight in defeat, getting a 1-2-3 finish in the 3,200 from Nathan Lewis (10:07.59), Nick Lewis (10:26.74) and Blake Calvert (11:27.76).

In 2 A girls, American Christian got another win from Rebekah Hoppis, who won the shot (32-3 ¾), and Rebekah Rhodes won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.20, as the Patriots virtually ran away with the meet.

Cold Springs Palee Myrex added to her 1,600-meter win with victories in the 800 (2:26.13) and 3,200 (12:31.85).

1A: “Hat trick!”

That’s what Cedar Bluff’s boys shouted after receiving the first place trophy after winning the 1A team title for the third year in a row. Yet, they had to work hard for it.

After a second and third place finish in the 800 by Idral Bowen and Evan Mcburnett in the 800 (2:09.17 and 2:09.54 respectively), Cedar Bluff had an apparently comfortable 23 point lead. But Billingsley shrunk the lead in a hurry when Jay Tyus, Donte Vinson and Bud Huffman went 1-2-3 in the 110-meter high hurdles to shrink the lead to three.

Billingsley actually took the lead with Jamar Hopson’s fifth-place finish in the 100, but Cedar Bluff jumped back into the lead for good with second and fourth-place finishes in the 3,200.

As for the Cedar Bluff girls, they were never in any serious trouble. A victory by Michelle Adams in the long jump (15-5 ¾) saw to that..

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