E.A. Sports Today

Anniston, Piedmont win track titles

Anniston girls get title that got away, Piedmont boys repeat; Hearn sets record

Carsheuna Curry played a key role in Anniston winning the County Girls Track title with wins in all three jumps. On the cover, Anniston's 4x400 relay team clinched the victory. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography).

Carsheuna Curry played a key role in Anniston winning the County Girls Track title with wins in all three jumps. On the cover, Anniston’s 4×400 relay team clinched the victory. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography).

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The Anniston girls track team had every right to feel a sense of redemption after winning their side of the Calhoun County Track & Field Championships Tuesday, but that’s not what was driving their smiles.

The Lady Dawgs won the title that got away from them a year ago – and Piedmont repeated as boys champions – but the aspect of the win that made them most proud is they were projected to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack.

They were seeded no better than fifth based on all the times posted leading up to the meet, but they scored 148.5 points and won by a fraction more than 10 points over runner-up defending champion Oxford.

Piedmont’s boys scored 182.5 points in winning for the second year in a row. Anniston was second with 123.

“I think to win because we were picked fifth (was most satisfying),” said junior jumper Carsheuna Curry, who won three events and placed in four. “Everybody doubted us, so we had just had to come out and prove them wrong. I like proving people wrong.”

The Lady Dawgs appeared to have the title in their grasp last year, but were denied after an event was replayed over an equipment controversy. The same controversy of undersize shots raised its head again this year, but was nipped before it could impact the event.

“I didn’t want them to dwell on last year,” Anniston coach Lisa Howard said. “I wanted them to come out and know they can be just as good as anybody else. It’s a new day.

“Like I tell them every day is another day. This is track and field … you always have to come out and be ready to go. It was just great they came out like that. They left everything out on the track, boys and girls. They laid everything down. It was just a phenomenal day for the kids and I want them to enjoy it.”

Curry had the best day of them all, leading a somewhat surprising day for the Anniston field athletes. She won the long jump, triple jump and high jump, and even picked up a point (by a half inch) in the shot. They scored 39.2 points in the field events.

Davia Palmer won the 100 hurdles and they also won the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.

“I wasn’t picked in two of my events (long jump and high jump), so I was like, ‘I’m not going to settle for second or third,” Curry said. “I know these girls have beaten me before and I was like I’m going to change my mindset, I’m going to lose some more weight and just practice more, and I knew I could PR and get my best jumps in today.”

Piedmont’s Karri Green won three events (200, 400, 300 hurdles) and was denied a fourth when she clipped the next-to-last hurdle in the 100 hurdles, opening the door for Palmer’s win. Oxford’s Brianna Calhoun (shot, discus) and Pleasant Valley’s Rachel Faucett (800, 1600) won two events.

Jacksonville’s Rebecca Hearn set a meet record in the 3200 (11:53.12), winning by almost two minutes.

On the boys side, Piedmont’s C.J. Savage established himself as the fastest man in the county winning the 100 and 200 – and long jump. Teammate Dreek Thompson won two events (high jump, triple jump), as did Saks’ Cole Thompson (110, 300 hurdles) and Anniston’s Zebadee Lunsford (800, 1600).

The Bulldogs scored points in every event and went 1-2 in three field events. They went 1-2-3 in the pole vault.

“That just shows we had a lot in all the events where some of the others may not have,” Piedmont coach Mark Mitchell said. “That guy who gets in seventh place or sixth or fifth, you get a whole bunch of them in that track meet, they can add up to one person’s (first-place) 10, which is just as important. … It takes all that. You can’t just have a couple superstars out here and win.

“Our biggest thing today is the field events. The running stuff was going to be a wash, we had to come out and do really well in the field events and we did. We had to do that to compete … We had to do well in the field events and we had a pretty good at that.”

The best race of the day was in the boys 3200 where Pleasant Valley freshman Matisse Miller nipped Lunsford, the county cross country champion, at the wire by two-hundredths of a second.

It was so close the finish-line camera was used to determine the winner.



Team Scores: Anniston 148.5, Oxford 138, Piedmont 107.5, Jacksonville 79.5, Pleasant Valley 70.5, Ohatchee 45, White Plains 28.5, Saks 27, Weaver 23, Alexandria 19.5, Wellborn 5, Donoho 4.

EVENT WINNERS (top seed, non-winner place)

100: Tatiyana Thomas, Jacksonville, 13.17 (Thomas).
200: Karri Green, Piedmont, 26:14 (Green).
400: Karri Green, Piedmont, 59:72 (Green).
800: Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley, 2:35.91 (Adah Touray, Oxford, 5).
1,600: Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley, 5:57.10 (Faucett).
3,200: Rebecca Hearn, Jacksonville, 11:53.12 (Hearn).
100 Hurdles: Davia Palmer, Anniston, 17.57 (Karri Green, Piedmont, 3).
300 Hurdles: Karri Green, Piedmont, 49.05 (Green).
4×100 Relay: Anniston, 50.99 (Oxford, 2).
4×400 Relay: Anniston, 4:27.72 (Oxford, 2).
4×800 Relay: Oxford, 11:00.68 (Oxford).
High Jump: Carsheuna Curry, Anniston, 5-0 (Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley, 3).
Pole Vault: Megan Mohan, Piedmont, 9-0 (Mohan).
Long Jump: Carsheuna Curry, Anniston, 17-1 (Jamiria Bradford, Oxford, 3).
Triple Jump: Carshuena Curry, Anniston, 34-5 (Curry).
Shot Put: Brianna Calhoun, Oxford, 35-4 ½ (Calhoun).
Discus: Brianna Calhoun, Oxford, 117-10 (Calhoun).
Javelin: Courtney Poole, Ohatchee, 96-8 (Poole).


Team Scores: Piedmont 182.5, Anniston 123, Oxford 108.5, Pleasant Valley 83, Saks 55, White Plains 49.5, Weaver 34.5, Alexandria 23, Donoho 18, Jacksonville 15, Ohatchee 8, Wellborn 1.

EVENT WINNERS (top seed, non-winner place)

100: C.J. Savage, Piedmont, 11.06 (Savage).
200: C.J. Savage, Piedmont, 21.99 (Savage).
400: Kaylan Banks, Oxford, 51.60 (Banks).
800: Zebadee Lunsford, Anniston, 2:08.98 (Lunsford).
1600: Zebadee Lunsford, Anniston, 4:51.48 (Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley, 2).
3200: Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley, 10:57.63 (Miller).
110 Hurdles: Cole Thompson, Saks, 15.82 (Mitchell Benefield, Piedmont, 6).
300 Hurdles: Cole Thompson, Saks, 44.04 (Mitchell Benefield, Piedmont, 3).
4×100 Relay: Oxford, 43.45 (Oxford).
4×400 Relay: Anniston, 3:38.98 (Oxford, 4).
4×800 Relay: Pleasant Valley, 8:59.93 (Pleasant Valley).
High Jump: Dreek Thompson, Piedmont, 5-10 (Thompson).
Pole Vault: Wil Mitchell, Piedmont, 11-0 (Mitchell).
Long Jump: C.J. Savage, Piedmont, 20-6 ½ (Savage).
Triple Jump: Dreek Thompson, Piedmont, 41-3 (Thompson).
Shot Put: Jerek Ward, Pleasant Valley, 42-6 (Cameron Hill, Oxford, 3).
Discus: Reaves Nelson, Donoho, 107-9 (Logan Beadles, Piedmont, DNP).
Javelin: Eli Hightower, White Plains, 147-10 (Hightower).

Carsheuna Curry sails over the high bar on the way to another of her three event wins. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Carsheuna Curry sails over the high bar on the way to another of her three event wins. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

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