E.A. Sports Today

On the right track

White Plains shares 4A girls lead after Bozarth, Yates win gold; Oxford’s Moore wins boys 6A high jump

By East Alabama Sports Today

GULF SHORES – Krista Young is in her final few days as the White Plains girls track coach before moving into Chapter Two of her professional life and the Lady Wildcats gave her sendoff a pretty good start.

High jumper Angel Bozarth and pole vaulter Savannah Yates both brought state titles to White Plains and the Lady Wildcats grabbed a share of the Class 4A girls lead after the first day of the Class 4A-7A State Track and Field Championships.

The Lady Wildcats, with only 12 athletes in the field, pulled down 32 points and are tied with Montgomery Academy, five points ahead of third-place Brooks. The meet runs through Saturday. The Class 1A-3A championships in Cullman begin Friday.

“It’s very exciting because we had some surprises today,” said Young, who goes into nursing in July. “We got points from places we weren’t expecting. I knew the events we had today should be strong events, but I was not expecting to have two state champions. It’s a great way to celebrate this last year coaching with these girls.”

Bozarth was the Lady Wildcats’ first to take the top step of the podium when she won the high jump at 5-4, tying her personal best. Yates gave them a second state champion when she won her third straight outdoor pole vault title (and fourth overall) with a school-record 11-1 – seven inches better than her best jump this season.

Bozarth also placed sixth in the long jump. Anna Strickland finished third in the 1,600 (5:26.30, crushing her school record by seven seconds) and eighth-grader Maddyn Conn was sixth in the 1,600.

Bozarth hadn’t jumped since ninth grade when she first jumped 5-4 and only jumped for the first time this season at the sectional meet.

“I was really just shocked,” she said. “I knew I was seeded second (in the high jump), but I did not expect to get 5-4. I was little bit worried. I had not long jumped in a while and luckily I had enough time to rest and was feeling good going into it. At the lower heights coach said my jumps looked like I was going over 4-10, five-feet, so she knew I would do well.”

Bozarth and Yates weren’t the only athletes from Calhoun County to win a state gold.

Oxford’s Justin Moore capped his first year in the event by winning the Class 6A boys high jump (6-6). He was 6-for-6 until making three attempts at 6-8 after he had it won.

Anniston’s Christian Myles finished second in the 4A boys 1,600 with a PR of 4:35.97 and Jacksonville’s Emun Young was fifth in the 4A boys discus (131-1).

Parker senior Jekovan Rhetta ran the fastest 100-meter dash time in AHSAA history when he tore off a 10.27 in the Class 5A boys prelims. The old mark was 10.33 by Homewood’s Aaron Ernest in 2011. The old 5A record was 10.37 by Carver-Birmingham in 2010.

Scottsboro senior Cooker Atkins turned in the all-time state meet best 1,600 with a 4:08.40. It broke a record that stood 33 years.

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