BIRMINGHAM – Hoover (7A), Homewood (6A), Scottsboro (4A/5A) and Winfield (1A/3A) high schools emerged as boys’ state champions Saturday while Saint James (1A/3A, Montgomery Catholic (4A/5A), Homewood (6A) and Mountain Brook (7A) captured girls’ state titles as the 49th AHSAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships concluded at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Homewood, coached by Thomas Esslinger, was the only school to capture boys’ and girls’ crowns. The Patriots boys won their second Class 6A title in a row and their fifth in the last seven years amassing 95.5 points. Northridge finished second with 83.5 and Opelika was third with 78. Homewood’s girls won their third consecutive 6A crown totaling 124.5 points. Pelham was second with 95 and St. Paul’s Episcopal took third place with 53.
In Class 7A, Coach Devon Hind’s Hoover’s boys cruised to the Bucs’ third straight title and also their fifth in the last seven seasons. The Bucs accumulated 105 points with strong effort from start to finish. Oak Mountain finished second with 51 points, clinching the runner-up spot with a strong third-place finish in the 4x400 meter relay in the last race of the day. The Eagles started the race in fifth place but picked up six points and moved ahead of Vestavia Hills and Hewitt-Trussville to seal the runner-up. The Rebels and Huskies tied for third over with 49 points each. Mountain Brook’s Lady Spartans out-pointed runner-up Baker 71 to 60.5 to win the school’s first state crown since 2013.
Scottsboro’s boys totaled 76 to win the Class 4A/5A state championship. It was the Wildcats’’ second title in the last three seasons. Ramsay finished second with 65 points and Beauregard was third with 36. Montgomery Catholic won its first girls’ state title edging runner-up Ramsay 80-66. Scottsboro was third with 59.
And in Class 1A/3A, the Winfield boys managed 105 points to capture its third state since 2015. Bayside Academy was second with 84 points and Altamont third with 77. Saint James won its first Class 1A/3A state girls championship rolling up 117 points. Whitesburg Christian finished second with 103 and Providence Christian had 76.5 to take third place.
Saint James junior Presley Miles sparked the Lady Trojans’ championship capturing four Class 1A/3A individual state titles winning the 3,200 meters (11:10.48) and the 800 meters (2:18.47) on Friday and closing out the 49th AHSAA State Indoor Track & Field State Championships with first-place finishes in the 400-meter dash (59.03) and the 1,600 meters (5:18.47). She accounted for 40 of2019 Class 1A/3A state champion Saint James’ 117 points in the meet. The Trojans moved from Class 4A to Class 3A to begin the 2018-19 school year.
A quick look at past AHSAA indoor track results showed several competitors winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters events at state indoor meets. However, Miles became the first girls’ participant in AHSAA history to win all four running events at the AHSAA State Indoor Track Championships.
She was also the first to win four individual events since St. Paul’s Episcopal’s Charlotte Krausse won four at the 2016 state indoor meet. Krausse won the triple jump, long jump, high jump and 60-meter hurdles at that meet. Another track standout from St. Paul’s, Camille Root, won four individual events at the 1995 and 1996 state meets held at Priceville’s Celebration Arena. She won the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles, the 400-meter dash and the long jump both years. Bridget Rose of Leeds was the next girls’ participant to win four events with wins in 2006 in the 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles, long jump and pole vault.
Montgomery Catholic senior phenom Amaris Tyynismaa captured her fifth straight indoor state meet individual championship in a row and her first team crown. She won the 1,600 meters Saturday with a strong 5:04.02 time in the 4A/5A finals. Miles upset Tyynismaa in the 800-meter race in 2018, but she roared back to clock 4:56.31 in 2018 to set the class 4A/5A state indoor meet record.
Tyynismaa closed out her indoor career in the 2019 meet winning the 800 and 3,200 as well. That gave her five consecutive 4A/5A state indoor titles in the 3,200 and three in the 800 and total of 13 indoor state meet titles and one second-place finish since 2015. She did not compete in the 800 in 2017. and to Miles in last year’s state meet. Saint James High School dropped to Class 3A in 2018-19.
Senior Nicole Payne of Oak Mountain turned in the most impressive time of the day Saturday with a state record (all classes) 54.11 time in the Class 7A girls’ 400-meter finals. She broke her own 7A record (55.24) she set in 2017 and also beat the AHSAA all-time indoor record (54.22) set by her in regular-season meet in 2018. Payne won the 400 three of the last four years – setting Class 7A records all three times: In 2016 (55.25), 2017 and 2019. Her 2018 regular-season time stood as the all-time indoor record until Saturday. She was disqualified in the event at the 2018 state meet.
Payne also won the 60-meter dash race with a new Class 7A record time Saturday clocking 7.54 in the finals. Lauryn Hall of Sparkman set the record (7.66) in 2017.
The top boys’ performance came in the Class 4A/5A high jump where Isaiah McKissic of Beauregard broke a 37-year old indoor record when he cleared 6-09.25. The old record (6-09) was set 37 years earlier by Vincent “Bo” Jackson of McAdory in 1982. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy at Auburn in 1985 and had a major-league baseball and NFL football career cut short by a hip injury.
McKissic made his winning height on his second try. It turned out to be the top high jump performance of the state meet. Oak Mountain senior Trey Allen cleared 6-09 Friday to set a new Class 7A indoor state-meet record but then moved the bar to 7-01 and missed on all three tries. McKissic attempted to clear 6-10 but missed on all three attempts.
Hoover’s boys’ 4x400 relay team closed out the meet with a 3:20.59 time to set the AHSAA all-time record in that event. Auburn (3:22.05) set the previous state-meet best in 2015.
BOYS STONE SHELNUTT, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: Turned in the best 400-meter dash time of the 2019 meet winning the Class 7A race with s time of 49.97 seconds. His time fell just short of the all-time state-meet record (48.09) set by Deante Tolbert of Auburn in 2015. Shelnutt also won the Class 7A 60-meter hurdles finals with an 8.27 time. ETHAN STRAND, VESTAVIA HILLS: Took first place in the Class 6A 1,600-meter race with a strong time of 4:20.34 – less than three seconds off the 7A indoor state record (4:17.06 ) set by Drew Williams of Mountain Brook in 2012. DEANTHONY COLEMAN, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Turned in one of the top times of 2019 in the nation to win the Class 6A 60-meter hurdles in 7.89 seconds. His time was just 9/100ths of a second off the 6A indoor state record time (7.80) set by Marlon Humphrey of Hoover in 2013. WILL STONE, HOMEWOOD: Completed a sweep of the distance events with a 4:24.55 time in the Class 6A 1,600-meter run Saturday. He won the 800 and 3,200 races Friday. JEKOVAN RHETTA, PARKER: Won the Class 4A/5A 60-meter dash final race with a time of 6.88 seconds. He qualified with a 6.94 time. JAMES DIXON, ALTAMONT: Won the Class 1A/3A 400-meter dash with a strong 51.26 time to just miss equaling the 1A/3A state indoor record (50.30) set by Trey Cunningham of Winfield in 2016. He finished just ahead of Tawrence Dixon of Mobile Christian, who clocked 51.31. TAWRENCE DIXON, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Edged teammate Cameron Alexander at the finish line in one of the closest boys’ raced of the 2019 state meet to win the Class 1A/3A 60-meter dash finals. He clocked 7.146 and Alexander crossed at 7.149. SCOTTSBORO 4X800 RELAY: Won the 4A/5A race with a time of 8:20.19 – just four seconds off the state indoor meet mark (8:16.55) recorded by Northridge in 2016.
GIRLS KIARA RISHER, JAMES CLEMENS: Set a new Class 7A indoor state meet record in the high jump with a winning height of 5-06 on her second attempt at that height. Jayden Gilbert of Bob Jones finished second equaling the old record (5-04). Julia Leonard of Mountain Brook set the record in 2015. JASMINR RILEY, PARK CROSSING: Won the Class 6A 60-meter dash finals with a 7.50 time -- just 1/100ths of a second off the Class 6A state indoor meet record (7.49) established by Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn in 2014. The winning time was also just 4/100ths of a second off the all-time CrossPlex record (7.46), which was set by Kirkland in 2016. ZHEVYN JONES, RAMSAY: Set a new Class 4A/5A state indoor meet record winning the 60-meter hurdles in 8.91 seconds. St. Paul’s Lacey Dent set the previous record (9:07) in 2012. Jones qualified for the finals with an 8.93 time. JADA CHILDERS, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Crossed the finish line at 57:02 to win the Class 4A/5A 4000-meter dash. Her time was just one stride shy of the state record (56.92) set by Jayla Kirkland of Woodlawn at the 2017 state meet. Jasity White of Ramsay was second to Childers in the photo finish with a 57.10 time.
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