E.A. Sports Today

Fastest in town

Oxford’s Que Ford and Shania Vincent earned the distinction of being the fastest of their gender in the county after winning both their 100 and 200 dashes; Oxford boys win county title, PV girls win first since 2004

Pleasant Valley’s Matisse Miller (L) and Rachel Faucett took a bite out of the medal count Tuesday, each winning three individual events at the Calhoun County Track Championships. On the cover, Oxford’s Que Ford and Shania Vincent are the fastest man and woman in town after winning their two sprints.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – Some day soon they might start having to erect stop signs in the hallways at Oxford High School because the fastest man and woman in the Calhoun County go to school there.

Senior Que Ford and freshman Shania Vincent earned the distinction of being the fastest of their gender in the county after both won their respective 100 and 200 meter dashes in the Calhoun County Track & Field Championships at the event’s new home in Choccolocco Park.

Ford won the boys 100 in 11.07 and the 200 in 22.73. Vincent, competing in her first County Meet, won the girls 100 in 12.73 and the 200 in 26.36.

“You get to see them compete every day in practice and grow as individuals on and off the track,” Oxford coach Lydia Elkins said. “Both of their work ethic is outstanding and you can see that in their proven times. We look for them to do well at sectional and go on to state.

“It’s awesome to have that (fastest man distinction), but we also know there are other people outside the county that are just as good or better than us and that’s where they know they have to be. Their ultimate goal is to win state, so every day they have to take it as I’m not No. 1 but I have to work to be No. 1 and I think that’s why they have such success because there hard on themselves and they know they have to work harder each and every day to get better and better.”

With the help of Ford’s blazing speed, the Yellow Jackets won the boys title with 152.5 points, 60 ahead of Anniston. Weaver was third (86.5).

Pleasant Valley won the girls title for the first time since 2004, scoring 161 points, well ahead of runner-up Oxford (111) and third-place Anniston (84).

Both champions were heavily favored in the pre-meet projections.

Three meet records fell in girls field events: Pleasant Valley’s Rachel Faucett in the high jump at 5-6, White Plains’ Savannah Yates in the pole vault (9-6) and Oxford’s Haley Dempsey in the javelin (110-6) – on her first-ever throw in competition.

Faucett won the state indoor high jump title at 5-7 and after feeling good about her effort at 5-6 she took three shots at 5-8 Tuesday without success.

Pleasant Valley’s Matisse Miller and Faucett both won an event-high three individual events. Miller won the boys 800, 1600 and 3200. Faucett won the girls 400, long jump and high jump.

Other multiple individual winners included Pleasant Valley’s Trinity Roberts (girls 1600 and 3200) and White Plains’ Rylee Randall (girls 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles).

Among the other highlights were PV’s boys 4×400 posting a 3A-best 3:36.85, White Plains’ boys 4×800 posting 4A’s third-best time (8:40.11), Jacksonville’s Aniyah Robinson winning the girls shot with the state-best put in 4A (36-6.5) and Oxford’s Haley Dempsey winning the girls javelin with her first-ever throw in the event at 110-6.

Ford defended his title as the county’s fastest man, a mantle he assumed from Piedmont’s C.J. Savage, winning the two sprints in the county meet for the second year in a row. He would have liked to have gone faster to enhance his chance of running in college, but he’s not giving the medals back.

“I went down and it kind of made me mad,” he said. “I’m happy with my victory, I just wish I could’ve PR’d again. But one out of two, I can be fine with that.”

For Vincent, just being on the track is blessing. She didn’t run track as a seventh-grader, playing soccer with her sister instead, and she missed the county meet last year with a torn muscle in her leg.

“I’ve been looking forward to this,” she said. “Watching people run last year it was kind of upsetting and disappointing because everybody else was running and I was just on the sideline cheering on my team.”

Now that the fastest man and woman in town go to the same school, they could race around the halls trying to challenge the other’s times, but they don’t.

“But we actually do walk down the hall together,” Ford said. “I see her going to my fourth period class and I’ll sit there and wait on her and we’ll be going to class together and she’ll be picking at me.”

WHAT A DEBUT: Haley Dempsey picked up a javelin for the very first time last week, but when the sophomore threw it in competition for the first time on her first attempt Tuesday she performed like a veteran. She literally won the event on her very first throw, scoring a meet record 110 feet, 6 inches. She broke the old mark by nearly four feet.

“I really don’t know where that came from,” she said. “At practice I’d been throwing 80-85 and the coaches were like you can try it at county just to see. I don’t know, it just came out of nowhere.”

You might recognize the name. Her sister Amber is an outfielder on the Oxford softball team and was named MVP of last week’s Calhoun County Softball Tournament.

Dempsey tried the shot put when she first got interested in track, but wasn’t comfortable. On Tuesday she competed in the long jump, pole vault and 4×800 relay, but the event that got her excited was the javelin.

“She has found herself an event,” Elkins said. “She has found herself an event that she is going to be really, really good at if she just works at it.”

White Plains’ Ryleigh Randall led the pack in both girls hurdles races. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Cover photo: Oxford’s Que Ford (L) and Shania Vincent have earned the distinction of being the fastest man and woman in town after winning their respective 100 and 200 meter dashes at Tuesday’s Calhoun County Track Championship.

Team scores:
Oxford 152.5, Anniston 92.5, Weaver 86.5, Pleasant Valley 79, White Plains 72, Ohatchee 67, Jacksonville 53, Piedmont 50.5, Alexandria 24.5, Saks 18.5, Donoho 3.

Event winners
4×800: White Plains 8:40.11
1600: Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley 4:47.17
4×100: Oxford 43.01
110 hurdles: Trevon Sanders, Oxford 15.91
800: Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley 2:07.25
100: Que Ford, Oxford 11.07
400: Torrian Sizemore, Anniston 51.80
300 hurdles: Hunter Rouse, Anniston 43.59
200: Que Ford, Oxford 22.73
3200: Matisse Miller, Pleasant Valley 10:48.48
4×400: Pleasant Valley 3:36.85
Discus: Austin Snelling, Ohatchee 121-1.5
Long jump: Dave Russell, Oxford 20-6
Triple jump: Henry Pyles, Oxford 41-4.75
Shot put: Brandon Boyce, Weaver 43-10.5
High jump: Robert Gaines, Weaver 6-0
Pole vault: Matthew Moore, White Plains 12-0
Javelin: Chase Widgeon, Ohatchee 144-7

Team scores:
Pleasant Valley 161, Oxford 111, Anniston 84, White Plains 75.75, Jacksonville 59, Piedmont 53, Alexandria 49.75, Ohatchee 46.5, Saks 46, Wellborn 14, Donoho 1.

Event winners
4×800: Pleasant Valley 10:41.6
1600: Trinity Roberts, Pleasant Valley 5:39.64
4×100: Anniston 51.64
110 hurdles: Ryleigh Randall, White Plains 17.80
800: Ladajah Williams, Anniston, 2:32.49
100: Shania Vincent, Oxford 12.73
400: Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley 1:00.50
300 hurdles: Ryleigh Randall 51.63
200: Shania Vincent, Oxford 26.36
3200: Trinity Roberts, Pleasant Valley 12:55.75
4×400: Oxford 4:25.07
Discus: Kalee Johnson, Alexandria 91-1.5
Long jump: Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley 16-3.5
Triple jump: Alex Gomez, Oxford 31-2.75
Shot put: Aniyah Robinson, Jacksonville 36-6.5
High jump: Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley 5-6 (meet record, old record 5-2, Keara Scott, Weaver 2014)
Pole vault: Savannah Yates, White Plains 9-6 (meet record, old record 9-1, Macy Hanson, Piedmont 2016)
Javelin: Haley Dempsey, Oxford 110-6 (meet record; old record 106-7, Laneshia Anderson, Ohatchee 2007)

To see more B.J. Franklin photos from the Calhoun County Track Championships go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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