E.A. Sports Today

Record setting day

Anniston boys and girls win county track championships on a day when seven records fall

Anniston's Tae Miller won the long jump and the triple jump, setting the county long jump record on his first attempt of the day. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Anniston’s Tae Miller won the long jump and the triple jump, setting the county long jump record on his first attempt of the day. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The hype for race began last Saturday and when the time came time to run it Tuesday it met all expectations.

In one of the more anticipated races of Tuesday’s Calhoun County Track Championship, Anniston edged Pleasant Valley in a boys 4×800 relay that both teams threatened the best times in their respective classifications this season.

Anniston won it in a county record 8:32.34. PV broke its school record for the second time in four days, running 8:34.43.

Actually, it was the first of seven county records that fell in the meet. The others were in boys pole vault (Piedmont’s Wil Mitchell, 12-10); boys 110 hurdles (Weaver’s Giovanni Mosley, 15.77); boys long jump (Anniston’s Tae Miller, 22-10); girls 100 hurdles (Piedmont’s Karri Green, 14.86); girls 1600 (Jacksonville’s Rebecca Hearn, 5:38.31) and girls pole vault (Piedmont’s Macy Hanson, 9-1).

Anniston won the overall boys and the girls titles. The boys scored 165 points and beat Oxford by 37; the girls scored 149 points and beat Pleasant Valley by 33. Green won four individual events.

Anniston coach Lisa Howard told the seniors before the day she wasn’t going to get emotional, but couldn’t help the brief moments she was fighting back tears.

“The kids pulled together today and they worked together as a team,” she said. “I was extremely proud because we’ve had a lot of them since seventh grade – Davia (Palmer), Carsheuna (Curry), Zebedee, TaeTae – and I wanted them to go out with a bang. So, the fact they came out and pulled together the way they did, we were excited about it.

“They’re my special bunch. It’s going to be hard losing them. They came out today and gave me everything they had and as a coach I’m extremely proud. I’m overwhelmed for them because they deserve so much.”

The stage was set for the 4×800 showdown when Pleasant Valley beat Anniston by three seconds last Saturday at Lincoln. The Bulldogs’ two-time county cross country champion Zebedee Lunsford ran a 2:00 anchor leg to beat Nick Robbins to the wire to get the payback.

“We knew this was going to be a good race and it was; this was going to be the race of the meet starting it off,” Lunsford said. “I knew it was going to be a little fight. I just had to run smart and hard.

“After Saturday it was all or nothing. For me, it was just a thought this is my senior year — me and two others — we just had to go out with a bang.”

Anniston’s other runners on the relay were Edward Montgomery, James Haynes and Tray Croft. PV’s team included Tucker Vernon, Daniel Gladen and Quinton Thornton.

The Raiders went out slowly for strategic reasons, but built a seven-second lead after the first 200 of the second leg. Croft gave Anniston lead on the backstretch of his first 200 and handed the baton and the lead to Lunsford for the anchor.

“When Zeb got it and we didn’t have the stick I knew it was over,” PV coach Brad Hood said.

Robbins beat his personal best by eight seconds to bring the Raiders home. Their team time was only a few seconds behind Class 3A best Alabama Christian.

Anniston’s time is the best in 5A.

“We did everything we could; there was nothing more we could do,” Hood said. “I would have loved to have won the race, but I’m excited with the time.”

Piedmont's Wil Mitchell clear the pole vault at 12-10 (top) and then gets a hearty high-five from his dad and coach Mark Mitchell after breaking the county record. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Piedmont’s Wil Mitchell clear the pole vault at 12-10 (top) and then gets a hearty high-five from his dad and coach Mark Mitchell after breaking the county record. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

HARD WORK PAYS OFF: It was hard to tell who was more excited about the boys pole vault record – Piedmont’s Wil Mitchell who set it or his dad, Piedmont coach Mark Mitchell.

Senior Wil, who is headed to Montevallo, gave a hearty fist pump as he got over the bar and enjoyed the ride down to the pad. His dad let our a triumphant yell that Will heard as he went over.

“I could hear all the people around, all the people who were left, and the last person was my dad,” Wil said. “As soon as he screams ‘Yeah’ I look and see the bar stay there. I fist-pump in the air a little bit. It was a good way down, I guess.

“I know he has those glasses on but he was tearing up a little bit when he was talking to me. It’s been really emotional for both of us, especially this being our last year together; makes you want to stay a little longer at practice every day to get some extra work in. It’s definitely as much his record as it is mine, because he’s put in just as much work as I have.”

Mitchell beat the old county record by an inch and now has the second-best vault in Class 3A behind a 14-3¼ by Cottage Hill senior Connor Allred. He made three attempts at 13 feet after setting the record. His dad said it took six months of work to get from 12 feet to 12-6.

“I’m just glad I did the right thing with my son,” Mark Mitchell said.

Another one of his charges, Macy Hanson, set the county record in winning the girls pole vault.

Piedmont's Karri Green won four events, including a record-shattering performance in the 100 hurdles. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Piedmont’s Karri Green won four events, including a record-shattering performance in the 100 hurdles. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

GREEN’S BIG DAY: Piedmont senior Karri Green had the biggest day of all the athletes, winning four events in the county meet for the first time in her career, setting a record in her first event of the day.

“I could’ve done way better than I did today,” she said. “I just thought I ran really slow.”

She had won three each of the last two season and was on track for a fourth before hitting some mishap. There were no mishaps this time. She won both hurdles — setting a county record in the 100 with the fourth best time in the state this year – 200 and 400.

“Her attitude’s good and she works hard, that’s how you do it,” Mitchell said. “She’s got God-given ability and a good attitude on top of that and a work ethic on top of that. That’s how she does it. That’s how she wins.”

Later today she will sign a scholarship with UAB.

Other multiple individual winners included Anniston’s Carsheuna Curry (girls long jump, triple jump); Jacksonville’s Rebecca Hearn (girls 1600, 3200); Pleasant Valley’s Rachel Faucett (girls high jump, 800); PV’s Matisse Miller (boys 1600, 3200); Oxford’s Laquavious Ford (boys 100, 200) and Anniston’s Tae Miller (boys long jump, triple jump).

On the cover: Anniston’s Zebedee Lunsford (L) brings home the anchor leg of a record 4×800 win and Piedmont’s Karri Green flies over a hurdle on her way to her fourth win of the day.

Jacksonville's Rebecca Hearn won the girls 1600 and 3200, setting the record in the 1600. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Jacksonville’s Rebecca Hearn won the girls 1600 and 3200, setting the record in the 1600. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

CALHOUN COUNTY TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP

GIRLS TEAM SCORES: 1. Anniston 149, 2. Pleasant Valley 116, 3. Piedmont 91, 4. Oxford 78.5, 5. Jacksonville 77, 6. White Plains 58, 7. Ohatchee 46, 8. Alexandria 33.5, 9. Saks 27, 10, Donoho 10, 11. (tie) Wellborn 8, 11. (tie) Weaver 8.

BOYS TEAM SCORES: 1. Anniston 165, 2. Oxford 128, 3. Piedmont 93, 4. Pleasant Valley 79.5, 5. White Plains 78.5, 6. Weaver 63, 7. Alexandria 22.5, 8. Saks 21, 9. Jacksonville 19, 10. Ohatchee 18.5, 11. Donoho 12. Wellborn 3.

BOYS WINNERS
Shot Put – Krae Keener, Piedmont, 45-4
Discus – Austin Snelling, Ohatchee, 129-10
Long Jump – Tae Miller, Anniston, 22-10 (record)
Triple Jump – Tae Miller, Anniston, 42-0 ¼
Javelin – Eli Hightower, White Plains, 150-3
High Jump – Hakeem Ross, Anniston, 5-10
Pole Vault – Wil Mitchell, Piedmont, 12-10 (record)
4×800 – Anniston, 8:32.34 (record)
110 Hurdles – Giovanni Mosley, Weaver, 15.77 (record)
1600 – Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley, 4:49.37
4×100 – Oxford, 43.42
400 – Lemuel Heard, Anniston, 52.31
100 – Laquavious Ford, Oxford, 11.02
800 – Zebedee Lunsford, Anniston, 2:06.26
200 – Laquavious Ford, Oxford, 22.53
300 Hurdles – Latravous Franks, Oxford, 43.70
3200 – Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley, 10:45.06
4×400 – Anniston, 3:36.20

GIRLS WINNERS
Shot Put – Sierra Davis, Oxford, 31-11
Discus – Kiara Jackson, Piedmont, 80-11
Long Jump – Carsheuna Curry, Anniston, 16-5
Triple Jump – Carsheuna Curry, Anniston, 35-1
Javelin – Grey Young, White Plains, 97-0
High Jump – Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley, 5-0
Pole Vault – Macy Hanson, Piedmont, 9-1 (record)
4×800 – Pleasant Valley, 10:53.84
100 Hurdles – Karri Green, Piedmont, 14.86 (record)
1600 – Rebecca Hearn, Jacksonville, 5:38.31 (record)
4×100 – Anniston, 51.07
400 – Karri Green, Piedmont, 59.38
100 – Davia Palmer, Anniston, 12.91
800 – Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley, 2:35.08
200 – Karri Green, Piedmont, 26.25
300 Hurdles – Karri Green, Piedmont, 52.52
3200 – Rebecca Heard, Jacksonville, 12:13.96
4×400 – Anniston, 4:22.97

You can call Oxford's Laquavious Ford the fastest man in the county this year. He won the boys 100 and 200 Tuesday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

You can call Oxford’s Laquavious Ford the fastest man in the county this year. He won the boys 100 and 200 Tuesday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)



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