E.A. Sports Today

Local teams running to state

Ohatchee, White Plains qualify more than a dozen athletes for state indoor track championship

By East Alabama Sports Today

BIRMINGHAM — Ohatchee track coach Casey Howell called it “a really good day for us.”

The Indians added state indoor championship qualifiers in four more events Monday competing in the MLK Classic.

Victoria McRaney added the 400, 1600 and 3200 to her menu, Jayda Fair added the 1600 and 3200, Bella Hammonds, Gabe Hammonds and Blake Noah qualified in the 1600 and Tyler Hester in the 60 hurdles.

They now have seven girls qualified in eight events and eight boys qualified in eight events. it’s the most they’ve had qualify for the state championship.

The qualifiers had plenty of incentive.

“It was their last chance to qualify (in the girls 3200) and they stepped up,” Howell said. “(In the boys 1600) I told them if they did not qualify yesterday they would have five miles (to run) each day this week.”

Perhaps the most satisfying of the qualifiers was ninth-grader Hester.

“He has been trying to qualify in hurdles since his seventh grade year,” Howell said. “He has been so close in the past. It shows how hard work pays off.”

White Plains qualifies 16

The White Plains girls team has qualified eight athletes in five events and three relays and the boys have qualified eight in nine events and one relay.

The girls qualifiers include Alyssa Hudgins (60, 400); Briar Poytress (400); Madeline Weathington (400); Megan Crossley (long jump, triple jump); Ryleigh Randall (long jump); Carsyn Morrow (high jump); Savannah Yates (relays); August Poytress (relays).

The boys qualifiers include Will Lee (60, 400, 1600); Michael Singleton (60, 60 hurdles, high jump, long jump, triple jump); Matthew Moore (400, pole vault); Austin Henninger (shot put); Daniel Champion (60); Gabe Sanford (60, 60 hurdles); Murphy Doss (400); Eli Hightower (high jump).

The Wildcats have set seven school records during the season.

Athletes will have one more chance to qualify (Jan. 29-30) before the state meet.

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