Friday, December 06, 2019






Falkville Claims Third Straight Boys’ Outdoor Title; Whitesburg Christian Wins First Girls’ Crown

    Falkville High School won its third straight AHSAA state outdoor track and field championship Saturday and five new champions were crowned as the 2015 Class 1A, 2A and 3A state championships closed its final day at new host site Cullman.
    The Blue Devils won Class 1A championships in 2013 and 2014 at Selma under the direction of Coach Keith Wilemon. Falkville moved to 2A this year and had to fend off arch-rival Cold Springs to claim the Class 2A crown.  Wilemon turned the head-coaching duties over to his son Jace, and son proved to be a fast learner.
    Falkville totaled 114.20 points and Cold Springs finished second with 104.70.
    Marion County won the Class 1A boys’ championship with 117 points. Westminster of Oak Mountain was second with 112 and Linden, third with 87.  Winfield won the Class 3A boys’ title over runner-up Montgomery Academy. Coach Steve Reaves’ Pirates had 108 points and the Eagles, last year’s Class 2A champs, had 77. Piedmont, the 2014 3A champions, totaled 70.50 to finished third.
     Whitesburg Christian posted 91 points in the Class 1A girls’ competition to win its first-ever state championship in any sport. Decatur Heritage was second with 83.50 and defending champion Westminster of Oak Mountain was third with 77.
    Altamont, directed by first-year head coach Jamie Rediker, won the Class 2A girls championship with 101 points to edge runner-up LaFayette, which scored 97.  American Christian Academy fended off Cottage Hill Christian to win the Class 3A girls’ crown. Coach Charles Tiller’s Patriots had 96 points and Cottage Hill had 94. Defending champion T.R. Miller was third with 79.
     Mathew Likely of Hillcrest Evergreen and Trey Cunningham of Winfield were among the outstanding student-athletes turning in record-setting performances Thursday.
Mathew Likely, Hillcrest-Evergreen:
Broke the Class 3A 100-meter dash record he had set Friday in the preliminaries with a 10.61-second winning time in the finals Saturday. The previous record (10.78),set by Jason Smoots of Litchfield in 1998, fell on Friday when Likely, a senior, clocked 10.65 to win his heat. Likely also won the 200-meter dash in 21.26 seconds to erase Smoots’ 200-meter record (21.82) also established the same year.
Trey Cunningham, Winfield:
For the second straight day Cunningham beat the Class 3A state record in the 110-meter hurdles with a winning time of 14.42 seconds. His 14.18-second time shattered the mark held by former Winfield hurdler Dominic Walls (14.49) since 2011.
Jack Barganier, Montgomery Academy and Nick Klein, Winfield:
Raced to a photo finish in the 3,200-meter race with Barganier winning with a time of 9:53.08. Klein was clocked at 9:53.38.
Bram Miller, Falkville:
Won the Class 2A high jump title with a 6-foot, 6-inch leap a year after winning the 1A state championship at the same height.
Brendan Tucker LaFayette and Josh Lucas, Tanner:
The two runners had a photo finish in the 110-meter hurdles with Tucker taking the win with a 15.332 time -- 3/thousandths of a second faster than Lucas who almost caught him at the finish line. While the times were a well short of the 13.73 state record set by Pierre Goode of Hazlewood in 1986, it turned out to be perhaps the best boys’ race of the day as both ran their personal bests.
Jartavious Whitlow, LaFayette: Set a new 2A state record in the long jump (23-04.75).
Lanett Relay Team: Clocked a 43.86 to win the 4x100 relay -- just missing the 2A state record .49/hundredths of  second.
Emelio Madero, Marion County
: Heaved the javelin 164 feet, 7 inches to win the competition by more than 15 feet.
Ben Abel, Victory Christian: Clocked 20.67 in the Class 1A para-ambulatory 100-meter dash -- earning  the respect of fellow runners after taking a hard spill at 50 meters but jumping back up quickly and finishing strong. His best time of the year was 18.04 seconds.
Tyler Crumpton, Phillips: Won the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles with times of 16.36 and 41.57 seconds, respectively.
Kaitlin York, American Christian:
Won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs for the state champion Patriots. Her winning time in the 3,200 Saturday morning was 11:04.77. She also ran a leg in American Christian’s winning 4x800-meter relay team.
Karri Green, Piedmont: Set a new 3A record in the 400-meter dash (57.44), won the 200-meter dash (25.39) and had two hurdles wins Saturday beating the competition in the 100-meter hurdles finals (14.87) and 300-meter intermediate hurdles (47.50).
Caitlyn Dressler, Cottage Hill Christian: Set a record in the 3A pole vault with a winning leap of 11 feet, 1 inch.
Callie Jones, Cottage Hill Christian: Won the triple jump with a 3A state record 38-05 leap and won the javelin gold with another 3A state record effort (136-05).
Taylor Young, Altamont:
Won the long jump with a 16-09.50 leap and then set a Class 2A state record in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.64-second winning time. Natasha Stuckie of White Plains held the record (15.80), setting it in 2007. She closed a strong individual meet effort by winning the 300-meter hurdles in 46.32 -- falling just short of the 2A state record she set in 2013 and setting a record in the triple jump (38 feet).
Ivy Edge, St. Bernard:
Set a Class 1A state record in the 800-meter run with a 2:19.68 time. Her effort broke one of the oldest girls’ records still standing. Joy Griffin of American Christian set the mark (2:22.15) 20 years ago in 1995.  She also helped the St. Bernard 4x800 relay team set a new 1A mark with a time of 10:06.74.
Kayla Pruitt, Lynn: The junior won the state shot put title with a winning toss of 37 feet, 7 ½ inches -- only three-quarters of an inch shy of setting the Class 1A state record. Shay Smith Loachapoka set the current record (37-08) in 2004. Pruitt followed with a record-setting performance to win the 1A girls’ javelin.  Her 129-foot, 7-inch throw beat the previous record (121-08) set by Falkville’s Tiana Drinkard in 2013. Pruitt also won the high jump and discus events.

Hoover, UMS-Wright Sweep Boys and Girls Titles in 7A and 4A

    Hoover and UMS-Wright high schools swept boys’ and girls’ state championships in Class 7A and 4A, respectively, as the 91st annual AHSAA State Track and Field Championships concluded Saturday at Gulf Shores.
   Hoover claimed both Class 7A crowns with the boys edging Auburn 131.33 to 121.50. Hewitt-Trussville was third with 54 points. Coach Devin Hind’s girls totaled 166.75 points with Mountain Brook second with 69.75. McGill-Toolen Catholic was a close third with 67.75.  The Bucs have now won boys’  titles in six of the seven seasons and the girls have won four championships in a row.  All previous titles were in Class 6A.
    UMS-Wright won its fifth straight Class 4A boys state championship and the Bulldogs’ girls also won the first xxth time in the lasy six years. Coach Pat Galle’s girls’ team ran away from the pack with 150.50 points. Brooks was second with 75.50 and Wilson finished third with 54.  UMS-Wright’s boys totaled 95 points, Wilson was second with 66 and Dadeville was right behind with 64.
    Homewood, the Class 5A girls’ champs in 2014, totaled 122.50 points to capture the 2015 Class 6A state title. Coach Thomas Esslinger’s team out-pointed Pelham by 43 points. The Lady Panthers were  second with 79.50 points, and Opelika was third with 57.  Opelika’s boys, coached by Jimmy Johnson,   won the 6A state championship Saturday amassing 121 points to edge Homewood’s boys. The Patriots had 106 points and Northridge was third with 65.
     In Class  5A, Coach Jim Tate’s St. Paul’s Episcopal boys totaled 90 points to win the state championship. St. Clair County was second with 66 points and Columbia was third with 53.50.   Beauregard, the 2014 Class 4A state champs, has little trouble moving to 5A as Coach Glenn Copeland’s Lady Hornets scored 139 points to win the state title. St. Paul’s was a close second with 133.50, and Columbia came in third with 71 points.
     Among the top boys’ performances Saturday:
Karon Delince, Central-Phenix City:
Won the first-ever Class 7A 200-meter final with a 21.55-second time. He also won the 200-meter dash title clocking 21.55 seconds in the finals.
Auburn 4x100-meter relay: The Tigers came close to the overall AHSAA state mark clocking 41.66 second to win Saturday’s relay finals.
Emmanuel Tait, Thompson: Won the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles with times of 14.12 and 38.83 seconds, respectively.
Will Macoy, Vestavia Hills: Threw the javelin 196 feet, 6 inches to set the 7A record in that event.
Nathanaiel Huggins, Opelika:
Clocked 10.49 seconds, the fastest 100-meter dash outdoor time in any division of the AHSAA state championships, to win the 6A finals. He followed with a 21.34-second winning time to capture the 6A 200-meter dash finals and closed out with a 47.02 time in the 400-meter dash to win the event just 4/100ths off the state record time of 46.98.
Sheldon Britton, Alabama Christian:
Had three golds winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs.
Alize Ford, Columbia: Improved his time from the prelims to the finals by a second to win the 200-meter finals Saturday. His 21.76-second winning time was less than 5/tenths of a second off the 5A state mark.
Gary Johnson, Douglas: Ran 10.79 in the 100-meter prelims, then followed with a 10:79 again in the finals to win the event.
Alize Ford, St. Clair County: Won the 200-meter dash in 21.76 seconds and finished second in the 400.
Robert Hope, UMS-Wright:
Won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs and finished fifth in the 800 to leads the Bulldogs’ state-championship effort.
Jermaine Johnson, Leeds: Won the 100-meter dash in 10.95 seconds and the 200 in 22.79 seconds to take home two golds.
Brittley Humphrey, Hoover: Shattered the overall AHSAA girls’ state record in the 100-meter hurdles with a 13.74-second winning time in the Class 7A finals Saturday. He set the 6A record and overall mark last year with a 14.00 time to win the Class 6A 100-meter hurdles event. Teammate Caitlyn Little  also broke Humphrey’s 2014 record with a 13.97 time to finish second in Saturday’s 7A finals. Little also ran the 100-meter dash finals in 11.97 to win that event and clocked 24.85 to win the Class 7A 200-meter dash.
Jayla Kirkland, Woodlawn:
The state record holder in the Class 6A 100, 200 and 400-yard dashes won all three events again Saturday. Her times were excellent but did not not surpass the records she set last year.
Kiara Williams, Homewood: Won the 100--meter hurdles with a near-6A record 14.29 time and followed up with a win in the 300-meter hurdles. The set a record to win the long jump Friday and also won the triple jump for four golds for the state champion Patriots.
Morgan O’Neal, Sylacauga:
Clocked 44.11 seconds in the Class 5A 300-meter hurdles to set a class state record. Courtney Golston of B.C. Rain set the previous record (44.24) in 2001.
Na'Asha Robinson, Butler:  Clocked 12.30 to win the 100-meter dash finals, then won the 200 and 400 dashes as well for three individual titles.
Amaris Tyynismaa, Catholic
- Montgomery: Set a Class 4A state record in the 800-meter run (2:16.86) to give the eighth grader  a sweep of the three distance events. She set records in 3,200 and 1,600 as well.
Wilson 4x800 relay team:  Clocked 9:55.80 to set a new Class 4A record in the distance relay.
Gracie Hunt, UMS-Wright: Helped the Lady Bulldogs capture the state title winning the high jump, long jump and triple jump competition.


Defending Champions Take Leads After Day 2 of 4A-7A Track at Gulf Shores

       UMS-Wright High School built a 46-point lead over No. 2 Wilson heading into Saturday’s final day of Class 4A boys’ competition at the 91st annual AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Gulf Shores.
       Coach Pat Galle’s squad has won the previous four Class 4A outdoor state championships dating back 2011. UMS has 78 points and Wilson 32.  Galle’s girls also have a comfortable lead in the 4A girls competition with 66.50 points. DAR is second with 37.50 and Wilson is third with 36.
     Hoover, the Class 6A boys’ champ five of the last six years, leads Class 7A with 61.33 points in what could be shaping up to be an exciting finish Saturday. Auburn has 57.50 points and Oak Mountain is thirds with 29.33. In Class 6A, Homewood, the 2014 Class 5A state champion, had 62 points and holds a slim lead over Opelika (57.50) and Northridge (40).  St. Paul’s has 43 points to lead Class 5A with Madison County next with 34. Alabama Christian and St. Clair County close behind with 29 and 28 points respectively.
      Hoover’s girls lead Class 7A competition with 55.75 points with McGill-Toolen and Mountain Brook on their heels with 51.75 and 50.75 points, respectively. Huntsville is fourth with 38.  Homewood, the 5A champion in 2014, leads Class 6A’s girls with 68 points. Pelham has 42 and John Carroll Catholic 28. Beauregard, the 2014 Class 4A state girls’ champs, lead Class 5A with 61 points. St. Paul’s is second heading into Saturday with 51 and Helena is third with 30.
       Few records fell Friday. Some top performances included:
      Amaris Tyynismaa, Montgomery Catholic: Set a 4A state record in the 3,200-meter run Friday with a time of 10:53.15. She set a record Thursday in the 1,600.
     Wilson 4x400-Relay: The Wilson High School girls won the Class 4A relay with a record time of 9:55.80 seconds, beating the previous mark of 10:04.40 established by UMS-Wright in 2013.
      Isabel Valenzuela,  St Paul's: Won the Class 5A girls’ 3,200 meters with a winning time of 11:36.31 – her  second win of the 2015 competition. She won the 1,600 Thursday.
      Jayla Kirkland,  Woodlawn: Kirkland, the Class 6A record holder in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, had the fastest qualifying times in each race Friday clocking 11.69 seconds in the 100 and 24.58 in the 200.  She won the 400 Friday with a strong time of 57.21 seconds.
     Kiara Williams, Homewood: Set a new 6A record in the long jump with a winning leap of 20 feet, 5 ¼ inches to topple the previous mark (19-09.50) by Whitney Marsh of Mountain Brook in 2002. She also won the triple jump with a 39-09.50 distance.
     Caitlyn Miller, Hoover: Turned in the best qualifying times in the 100 and 200 dashes in Class 7A with times of 12.02 and 25.31 seconds, respectively. She also had the best qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles (14.35).
      Jermaine Johnson, Leeds: Had the best qualifying times in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in the Class 4A boys’ prelims with times of 11.02 and 22.80 seconds.
     Robert Hope, UMS-Wright: Followed Thursday’s Class 4A 1,600 meter win with a first-place finish in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:45.40.
    Gary Johnson, Douglas: Ran the 200-meter dash prelim in 22.38 seconds and the 100 prelim in 10.79 seconds for the best times in Class 5A.
    Nathanaiel Huggins, Opelika:  Won the Class 6A 400-meter dash in 47.02 seconds and had the fastest qualifying times in the 100 and 200 dashes. His 10.57-second time in the 100 was the fastest in any class Friday.
      Melvin Hill, Baker:  Cleared 6 feet, 6 inches to become the AHSAA’s first Class 7A boys’ champion in that event.

Close Races Emerge in First Day of 1A, 2A, 3A State Track at Cullman

    Close races have emerged at Cullman as Friday’s first round of the  91st AHSAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships concluded at Oliver Woodard Stadium.  Only one point separate three teams in the Class 1A boys’ competition heading into Saturday’s final round which gets underway at 8 a.m.
    Marion County totaled 49 points to hold slim lead over Westminster of Oak Mountain and Linden, each with 48 points.  In Class 2A, Falkville, the 2014 and 2013 state champs in Class 1A, holds a 32-31 lead over Cold Springs. Lanett is third with 20.  In the 3A boys’ team standings, Winfield posted 48 points and has  a one-point lead over Montgomery Academy (47).T.R. Miller has 42.50 points, defending 3A champ Piedmont and American Christian are tied for fourth with 31. Montgomery Academy moved up to 3A this season after winning the Class 2A championship the last two years.
     The team races are also close in the girls’ competition. Falkville and Altamont are tied with 30 points each to share the Class 2A lead. Providence Christian, Holy Spirit Catholic and Mobile Christian are right behind with 27 – setting up an exciting finish Saturday with all five having a clear chance to claim the state title.  Cottage Hill Christian leads Class 3A with 43 points. American Christian is second with 29 and defending champion T.R. Miller is third with 25. Decatur Heritage amassed 38.50 points to take the Class 1A lead. St. Bernard of Cullman is second with 33.50 and defending champion Westminster of Oak Mountain is third with 30.
     Several outstanding efforts highlighted the individual performances.
Kaitlin Hill, Loachapoka:
Had near state-record times in qualifying first in the 100 and 200-meter dash prelims. Her 12.31 time in the 100 was just 24/100ths of a second off the 1A state record (12.07). She also clocked 25.70 in the 200.
Ivy Edge and Leahrose Mami, St. Bernard: Finished 1-2 in the 1,600 meters with season best times of 5:15.14 and 5:18.83.  Both ran a leg in St. Bernard’s record-setting 4x800-meter relay win (10:06.47) that beat the previous record set by Westminster last season by four seconds.
Summer Stewart, Meek: Set a new 1A pole vault record clearing 10 feet. The old record, set in 2007 by Anna Lindsey of Cedar Bluff, was 9-03.
Taylor Young, Altamont:
Had the best qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles prelims (15.93 seconds) and broke her own 2A state record in the triple jump with a 38-foot leap.
Karri Green, Piedmont:
Narrowly missed a new record in the 3A 200-meter dash clocking 25.61 to advance to Saturday’s finals. Simone Pugh of Cottage Hill set the current mark (25.10) in 2009. She also won the 400-meter dash with a 57.44-second time.
Callie Jones, Cottage Hill Christian: Threw the javelin 136 feet, 2 inches to set a 3A state record and narrowly missed a record in the long jump winning  with at 18-05.25.
Tomalaski Johnson, R.A. Hubbard:
Won the 400-meter dash with a 50.94 time and had the fastest 200-meter qualifying time clocking 22.36 seconds – coming close to Montavius Pitts’ state record time of  21.86 ran for Loachapoka in 2001.
Jacob Sanders, Marion County: Set a 1A state record clearing 12 feet to win the pole vault competition
Cameron Trammell, Lanett:
won the 400-meter dash with a 51.78 time, had the fastest qualifying time in the 200-meter prelims (22.69) and the second-fastest time in the 100-meter prelims.
Jartavious Whitlow, LaFayette:  Broke one of the oldest 2A records still standing with a 23-foot, 4 ¼-inch leap in the long jump to erase Hazlewood track star Pierre Goode’s   record (22-11) set in 1986.
Mathew Likely, Hillcrest-Evergreen: 
Ran  a 10.65-second time in the 100-meter dash prelims, setting up what should be a fast final Saturday since C.J. Savage of Piedmont clocked 10.79 in his prelim race. Likely also set a 2A state record in the 200-meter dash prelims – bettering Jason Smoot’s state record time of 21.98 set in 1998 as a Litchfield sprinter. Savage also qualified second with at 21.96.
Trey Cunningham, Winfield: Set a 3A state record in the 110-meter hurdles with a 14.18-second time in the prelims and finished third in the triple jump.
Cedrick Tabb, Greensboro:  Broke former Greensboro teammate Quante Brown’s 3A state record with a 183-05 throw in the javelin competition.

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
    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 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.