Benjamin Russell’s track and field team will have its largest contingent at the Class 6A state championships this week after an incredibly strong showing at the 6A Section 3 meet this weekend.
The Wildcats qualified nine individuals and one relay team for state.
Ashley Walker had the best showing of sectionals for BRHS, taking second in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600. She finished the 3,200 in 11:54.14 and is seeded second in state for the event. In the 1,600, Walker clocked in at 5:29.96, which was less than five seconds from second place and just 12 seconds from first. She is seeded fifth for this week’s state meet.
Walker also climbed the podium in the 800 at sectional, taking seventh overall but just missed out on qualifying for state.
Benjamin Russell’s only relay team to qualify was the girls 4x100, which captured fourth overall in 51.18.
Also earning a spot at state for the girls were Brionna Slaughter, who took fourth in the 400 dash (1:00.96), and Jada Shealey, who picked up a fifth-place finish in the 100 hurdles (17.72).
On the boys side, Gavin Edwards had one of the best finishes of sectionals, finishing the 100 dash in 11.06, which was good enough for third place and a spot in state. Matching Edwards’ place was Za Stowes in the triple jump. He won the bronze with a mark of 44-2.75.
Lance Cunigan is looking to go out on a high note, as he captured three bids to state in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Cunigan was fourth at sectionals in the 1,600 (4:26.07) and sixth in both the 800 (1:59.32) and the 3,200 (10:08.71). Layton Bradford also qualified for state in the 3,200 by placing ninth at sectionals in 10:33.30.
Both Jaikobee Gamble and Marquel Jackson will represent the Wildcats at state in the javelin. Gamble placed fifth with a hurl of 139-9, and Jackson followed closely behind in seventh (134-7).
Tigers rack up medals at sectionals
A large handful of Dadeville Tigers will see their track and field seasons continue as the Tigers qualified 13 individuals and three relays to the state championships this week.
Jamauri Chislom and Josh Taylor were the highlight of the day for the boys team. Chislom earned a gold medal in the shot put. He hurled the shot 43-11.25 to take home gold and earn a second-place seed at the state meet. Chislom also qualified in the discus, where he took third with a toss of 117-3.
Taylor qualified for state in the most events for the boys. Taylor won the 300 hurdles, capturing gold in 40.17. He will also advance in the 100, where he took second in 11.39, and the 200, where he was sixth in 23.82.
The Tigers also earned a first-place finish in the boys 4x100 relay with a time of 44.53. They eked out runner-up T.R. Miller by a tenth of a second.
Also qualifying for state in the relays were the 4x4 team, which took second in 3:34.25, and the 4x8, which was sixth in 9:14.44.
Both Jamarion Wilkerson and Ford have top-three seeds for state. Wilkerson placed third in the 400 with a time of 52.35, and Jordan Ford was fourth in the 800 after clocking in at 2:06.36.
Christian Nelson earned a spot at state in a pair of events, finishing well in both the 110 hurdles (6th, 20.34) and the 300 hurdles (8th, 46.29). The only other qualifier on the track was Cam Tai, who took sixth in 53.48.
The Tigers will be represented by a pair of competitors in both the triple jump and the javelin. Conner Fuller (3rd, 146-7) and Zander McClendon (6th, 139-10) advanced in the javelin, while AJ Williams (5th, 38-2.25) and Ladarrius Moore (7th, 37-5) will compete in the triple jump. DJ Foster, who took seventh in the discus with a throw of 100-06, will also compete at the state meet.
On the girls side, Skye Foster was unstoppable, qualifying for state in all four of her events. Her best finish was in the long jump, where she took fourth overall with a mark of 15-8.5, and she finished in fifth place in the triple jump, marking in at 30-9.5. Foster also qualified for state in the 100 hurdles (8th, 20.01) and the 300 hurdles (9th, 53.15).
Layla Grace will compete alongside Foster in the 300 hurdles after taking seventh in 51.19 at sectionals.
Rebels to look for multiple medals at state
Although Reeltown’s track and field team had only nine individuals and one relay team advance to the state meet, the Rebels will be hunting down several medals this week as many of those qualifiers advanced in multiple events at the Class 2A Section 3 meet.
Reeltown collected several gold medals. Taniya Haynes was one of the biggest success stories. She earned first place in the 100 with a time of 13.00. Haynes took nearly two-tenths of a second off her preliminary time and edged out LaFayette’s Toniya Collier by three-hundredths of a second. Haynes was also the winner of the 200 dash, once again beating out Collier and clocking in at 27.21. In the 200, Haynes sliced more than a second off her prelim time. She also collected a pair of silver medals, placing second in the the 400 (1:05.03) and the triple jump (31-0).
On the boys side, the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles were both especially kind to Reeltown, as the Rebels took first and second in both events. Eric Shaw won both the 110 (15.67) and the 300 hurdles (42.95), while Zantjuan Knight placed second in both, clocking in at 16.74 and 43.92, respectively.
For state, Shaw is seeded first in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300. Shaw also won a gold medal in the high jump, clearing 6-2 — 4 inches more than anyone else — and earning a top seed for state in that event as well. Shaw also qualified for state in the shot put after a fourth-place finish with a toss of 40-11.75 at sectionals.
Derrick Hammond also climbed atop the podium for Reeltown, winning a gold medal in the javelin with a throw of 142-1. He was more than 6 feet ahead of the rest of the pack.
Keon Cooper will also compete in three events at state. After earning a silver medal in the triple jump with a mark of 39-0.5, Cooper took fifth in the 800 (2:13.85) and sixth in the 400 (55.55).
Rhasheed Wilson earned spots at state in the 100 (5th, 11.57) and the long jump (7th, 18-7).
Also qualifying for state for the boys was the 4x4 (5th, 3:45.66).
On the girls side, Rinaysha Brown had strong finishes in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, taking third (18.63) and fourth (53.91) respectively, to qualify for state. She’ll also compete in the triple jump after placing fourth (27-5.5).
Brekia Riley will compete alongside Brown in the 100 hurdles (5th, 19.61) and the 300 hurdles (6th, 56.53), and Vera Baker qualified in the 800 (4th, 2:51.97).