By Chris McCarthy
Nine area high school athletes took home individual medals from last week’s AHSAA state track and field meets, with Hokes Bluff senior Tylynn Register coming away with the biggest haul of hardware.
At the Class 4A-5A-6A-7A meets in Gulf Shores, Register won the 4A gold in the triple jump (36-04.25), the 100-meter hurdles (15.49) and the 300-meter hurdles (46.98) while taking the third place bronze in the long jump (16-08.50).
Register, whose stellar performance helped the Lady Eagles finish fifth out of 34 teams, said that she was more nervous during the qualifying heats than the finals.
“So much can go wrong in the preliminaries that I just try to get through them and not push it. In the finals, that’s when I give it my all.”
Register pointed out that the level of competition at state compared to the sectional meet was night and day.
“I haven’t really get pushed much this year, so I didn’t know how I’d respond. But I was able to psych myself out with the help of coach Taylor [Morgan]. The girls who I went up against in the triple jump won [the event] every year, so it was really of special to beat them at least once.”
After finishing second in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 100-meter hurdles last year, Register put in extra work in the off-season to get to the level. With her being a three-sport athlete at HBHS, finding the time to do so was not easy with volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter.
“Being in basketball shape is completely different that being in track shape,” she said. “You work different muscles and the conditioning is different. I went to the Gadsden City track in a lot of weekends and put the time in. You also have to drink a lot of water and watch what you eat.”
Also turning in a standout effort at Gulf Shores was Southside High senior Hunter Nails, who won the 800-meter run with a time of 15.55.14 and took second in the 1600-meter run at 4.19.61.
Nails’ teammate Nick Shirley won the gold in the javelin event with a top throw of 179-04. The Panthers ended up 10th out of 32 6A teams.
In 4A boys ambulatory events, Hokes Bluff’s Logan Langley won gold medals in the 100-meter dash (15.45), shot put (33-07.50), discus (85-11) and javelin (117-11).
Two other locals won silver. At the Class 1A-2A-3A meets at Cullman, Westbrook Christian sophomore Mary Reid Goodwin finished runner-up in the 2A 800-meter run (2:28.01), while Gaston junior Amayiah Hill placed second in the 2A shot put (33-01.25). Goodwin also came in sixth in the 3200-meter run (5:57.30). She helped the Lady Warriors finished 10th overall out of 26 teams.
Claiming third-place bronze medals were Hokes Bluff’s Kendall Johnson in the 4A shot put (33-08.50), Sardis’ Jarrod Smith in the 4A shot put (46-05.50), Etowah’s Malik Wilson in the 5A high jump (6-02.00) Westbrook’s Mitchell Cook in the 2A 800-meter run (2:04.02), the Glencoe girls 3A 4×400-meter relay team of Anna Beth Giles, Ashley Morgan, Anna Grace Goodwin and Abby Vice (4:25.13) and the Etowah boys 4×100-meter relay team of Tyrell Boley, Emaje Graves, Deundrea Williams and Malik Wilson (43.50). Johnson and Cook also took fifth in the 4A discus (42-07) and the 2A 1600-meter run (4:43.80), respectively.
Sardis’ Emma Schaffer took fourth place in two events – the 4A long jump (16-08.00) and the javelin (108.06). She also came in fifth in the triple jump (33-08.00).
Other fifth-place showings included Sardis’ Luke Nelson in the 4A javelin (152-11), Westbrook’s Tochi Osugi in the 2A 400-meter dash (1:04.54).
Etowah’s Lee Green finished sixth in the 5A high jump (6-00), while Hokes Bluff’s Cam Dowdy took sixth in the 4A 300-meter hurdles (43.10).
Earning points were Hokes Bluff’s Haleigh Cashman (seventh in the 4A girls triple jump – 32-11.75); Hokes Bluff’s Braydon Hill (seventh in the 4A boys triple jump – 40-11.50), Westbrook’s Blake Young (seventh in the 2A 200-meter dash – 23:99); Sardis’ Trey Dalrymple in the 4A javelin – 148-06), Etowah’s Trevon Caldwell in the 5A triple jump – 42-01.75) and the Gadsden City girls 4×100 relay team of Shae Frazier, Kenya Keuye, Jayla Hunter and Brittany Watts (49.99).