E.A. Sports Today

Magnificent 7 ride

Anniston’s seven qualifiers score big, Bulldogs finish second at state 4A track meet; county produces 10 state champions

Anniston’s Christian Myles (Lane 2) and White Plains’ Jake Moore come to a photo finish in the Class 4A 800 at the state track meet. Myles was declared the winner by 0.006 seconds. (Photo by Lisa Howard)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today 

The Anniston boys track team proved last week you don’t have to take a lot of athletes to the state meet to do big things.

The Bulldogs took seven athletes – six runners and a jumper — to Gulf Shores for the State 4A-7A championship and finished second in Class 4A. They scored 68 points, finishing behind Bibb County (80) and ahead of Randolph (51).

They won three events and were second in three others. One of their individual wins was a thrilling photo finish in the 800 decided by six-thousandths of a second and they locked up the red trophy by winning the 4×400 relay at the end of the day.

“That was remarkable,” Anniston coach Lisa Howard said of the Bulldogs’ showing. “The athletes, they went out and they worked super-duper hard and it paid off.

“With the year off (due to COVID-19) – we don’t have indoor – we started in late February-early March and they came out and were dedicated. We just kept on working. They would set their goals and once they knew what goal needed to be reached we would go from there.”

Christian Myles won the 800 and was second in the 1600 and 3200. Miciah Myles was third in the 800 and sixth in the 400. Their three relay teams were first (4×100), first (4×400) and second (4×800).

Their other runners were Jayden (Money) Lewis, Kevontae (Speedy) Davis, Javon (Budda) Thomas and JacQues (Red) Thomas. Speedy and Budda ran legs on all three relays, while Money ran legs on the two winners. Malachi Taylor scored in the jumps.

“With the group I had going in, we were listed like fourth, but we were hoping to be in the top two,” Howard said. “We knew if we did what we’re supposed to do and kept improving (it could happen). I just believe what is for you is for you and everything just fell into place for us to place that high.

“I’ve had more talented kids who went there, but these guys worked together and they would push each other and motivate each other. I think that’s the chemistry of everything. Sometimes it’s not the most talent you have but the work you put in.”

These are the six runners on Anniston’s state runner-up track team: (Clockwise from left) Miciah Myles, Javon Thomas, Jayden Lewis, Christian Myles, JacQues Thomas and Kevontae Davis. The seventh athlete in the group not pictured is Malachi Taylor.

Christian Myles was involved in the three most exciting races of the day. It took the laser to decide he had nosed out White Plains’ Jake Moore at the wire in the 800. He also finished second to Ashville’s Joe Stevens in the 3200 by 0.10 seconds and to Randolph’s Zack Takacs in the 1600 by 0.08.

For all the success they had earlier in the meet, the Bulldogs still had to have a high finish in the 4×400 relay and not let Randolph get them. Randolph didn’t score and the Bulldogs won the race by more than two seconds to extend the cushion.

“Our guys stepped up and believed,” Howard said. “They performed well and showed the hard work paid off.”

Other individual state champions in the 4A-7A meet included White Plains’ Angel Bozarth (4A girls high jump) and Savannah Yates (4A girls pole vault) and Oxford’s Justin Moore (6A boys high jump).

Other runner-ups included Jacksonville’s Emun Young (4A boys shot), and Alexandria’s girls 4×400 relay team.

In the 1A-3A meet at Cullman, Donoho’s Taylor Simmons won the 1A girls 400 (1:01.75), finished second in the 800 and ran a leg on the third-place 4×400 relay team, highlighting the Falcons’ second ever trip to the state meet.

In 3A girls, Saks’ Sa’Nya Fleming won two gold medals (long jump, triple jump); Ohatchee’s Gracie George won the shot and was third in the discus; and Weaver’s Layla Carter reached the podium three times with seconds in the 100 and 200 and third in the 400.

In 3A boys, Pleasant Valley’s Oliver Young went to podium twice with silver in the 400 and 800, Weaver’s Bailey Stephens was second in the shot, and Chris Ferguson led Ohatchee’s 2-3-4 finish in the pole vault.

On the podium

Here are the Calhoun County athletes who scored points in their respective divisions of the state track meet last week in Cullman and Gulf Shores

Class 4A-7A at Gulf Shores

200: 7. Jayden Lewis, Anniston, 23.22.
400: 6. Miciah Myles, Anniston, 51.43.
800: 1. Christian Myles, Anniston, 2:00.934; 2. Jake Moore, Anniston, 2:00.940; 3. Miciah Myles, Anniston, 2:02.68; 8. Kayd Hightower, White Plains, 2:07.30.
1600: 2. Christian Myles, Anniston, 4:35.97.
3200: 2. Christian Myles, Anniston, 10:02.95.
4×100: 1. Anniston, 44.81.
4×400: 1. Anniston, 3:31.76.
4×800: 2. Anniston, 8:26.90.
Triple jump: 6. Malachi Taylor, Anniston, 41-1.
Shot put: 2. Emun Young, Jacksonville, 48-6.5.
Discus: 6. Emun Young, Jacksonville, 131-1.

200: 4. Lanecia Moore, Anniston, 27.45.
800: 5. Anna Strickland, White Plains, 2:27.10; 7. Maddyn Conn, White Plains, 2:29.56.
1600: 3. Anna Strickland, White Plains, 5:26.30; 6. Maddyn Conn, White Plains, 5;33.60.
300 hurdles: 8. Olivia Penson, Anniston, 52.11.
4×100: 5. Anniston, 52.57.
4×400: 5. Anniston, 4:30.75.
4×800: 3. White Plains, 10:17.15.
High jump: 1. Angel Bozarth, White Plains, 5-4.
Long jump: 6. Angel Bozarth, White Plains, 15-6.
Triple jump: 7. Angel Bozarth, White Plains, 31-10.
Pole vault: 1. Savannah Yates, White Plains, 11-1.

4×800: 5. Alexandria, 8:56.25.

200: 7. Karlee Walker, Alexandria, 26.25.
400: 4. Karlee Walker, Alexandria, 58.86; 5. Jordyn Walker, Alexandria, 1:00.89; Kashyia Tucker, Alexandria, 1:02.91.
4×100: 5. Alexandria, 51.05.
4×400: 2. Alexandria, 4:06.73.
4×800: 6. Alexandria, 11:08.46.
Long jump: 4. Jordyn Walker, Alexandria, 16-3.25; 7. Shaylan Whaley, Alexandria, 15-9.25.
Shot put: 7. Tyasha Hunt, Alexandria, 29-7.25.

200: 5. Javon Glenn, Oxford, 22.10.
High jump: 1. Justin Moore, Oxford, 6-6.
Long jump: 3. Justin Moore, Oxford, 22-11,5; 4. Bakari Dailey, Oxford, 22-1.

400: 7. Keziah Mickler, Oxford, 59.85.
4×400: 8. Oxford, 4:16.44.

Class 1A-3A at Cullman

800: 7. Carter Stremmel, Donoho, 2:23.93.
1600: 7. Carter Stremmel, Donoho, 5:20.95.
3200: 5. Carter Stremmel, Donoho, 11:28.51; 6. Mihir Patel, Donoho, 11:48.78.
4×800: 3. Donoho, 9:58.25.
Javelin: 6. Ridge Hopkins, Donoho, 127-10.

400: 1. Taylor Simmons, Donoho, 1:01.75.
800: 2. Taylor Simmons, Donoho, 2:35.04.
4×400: 3. Donoho, 4:36.53.
High jump: 3. Estella Connell, Donoho, 4-10.
Long jump: 8. Estella Connell, Donoho, 14-7.25.
Triple jump: 5. Estella Connell, Donoho, 32-0.75.
Discus: 4. Amelia Baker, Donoho, 79-1.

200: 6. Will Mixson, Saks, 23.58.
400: 3. Oliver Young, Pleasant Valley, 51.67.
800: 2. Oliver Young, Pleasant Valley, 1:58.99.
110 hurdles: 5. Malachi Goble, Ohatchee, 16.71.
300 hurdles: 6. Malachi Goble, Ohatchee, 43.16.
4×100: 3. Saks, 44.95.
4×400: 8. Saks, 3:49.64.
4×800: 4. Pleasant Valley, 8:54.20.
High jump: 6. Brock England, Ohatchee, 5-10.
Pole vault: 2. Chris Ferguson, Ohatchee, 12-0; 3. Troy Galloway, Ohatchee, 12-0; 4. Brody Hester, Ohatchee, 11-6.
Triple jump: 6. Malachi Goble, Ohatchee, 39-8; 7. Brendyn Knight, Weaver, 38-5.75.
Shot put: 2. Bailey Stephens, Weaver, 45-10.25.
Javelin: 5. Taylor Thompson, Weaver, 139-9; 7. Troy Galloway, Ohatchee, 136-3.

100: 2. Layla Carter, Weaver, 12.84.
200: 2. Layla Carter, Weaver, 26.61.
400: 3. Layla Carter, Weaver, 1:01.44.
100 hurdles: 8. Morgan Foushee, Ohatchee, 18.77.
4×100: 5. Weaver, 53.46.
High jump: 3. Jorda Crook, Ohatchee, 4-10; 5. Savannah Taylor, Ohatchee, 4-8; 6. Aleah Vess, Pleasant Valley, 4-6; 8. Ashlyn Adderhold, Pleasant Valley, Piedmont, 4-6.
Pole vault: 2. Bella Hammonds, Ohatchee, 8-0; 3. Lexi Ray, Piedmont, 8-0; 4. Ashlyn Adderhold, Piedmont, 7-6.
Long jump: 1. Sa’Nya Fleming, Saks, 16-11.
Triple jump: 1. Sa’Nya Fleming, Saks, 35-0.25; 6. Ashlyn Adderhold, Piedmont, 30-4.5.
Shot put: 1. Gracie George, Ohatchee, 33-0.
Discus: 3. Gracie George, Ohatchee, 91-5.

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