Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Ashville High track and field teams put on quite a display at the Class 4A, Section 2 meet last weekend in Beauregard.
The AHS girls edged Montgomery Academy, 128 to 127, to win its first sectional meet in four years, while the boys’ point total of 106 was just four behind first place Anniston. In all, 18 Ashville athletes qualified for the Class 4A state meet this weekend in Gulf Shores.
Entering the final event of the meet, the 4×400-meter relay, the Lady Bulldogs trailed Montgomery Academy by four points. To win the meet, Ashville not only had to win the 4×400 but needed Montgomery Academy to finish third or lower.
As it turned out, Molly Northam, Callie Stewart, Kathleen McCarthy and Emma Drinkard’s time of 4:23.69 beat Anniston by six seconds and the Lady Eagles came in a distant third to secure the first-place plaque for the Lady Bulldogs. Both Ashville teams were seeded third prior to the sectionals meet.
AHS track and field coach Michele Rogers pointed out that the final results were a product of a consistent accumulation of points.
“We did have some terrific gold finishers, but I think it was the little points over the two days that really sealed the deal,” she said. “Every single one of our athletes contributed to our wins by not only giving it their all in each event to earn to points but cheering on their teammates.”
Three athletes set school records during the meet, including Nick Spears in the boys pole vault at 12-5 feet, Gabe Sawyer in the boys 110-meter hurdles at 16.86 seconds and the girls 4×800-meter relay team of Kathleen McCarthy, Meghan McCarthy, Callie Stewart and Emma Drinkard at 10 minutes and 25 seconds.
Along with the above relay races, Drinkard (pictured above) won both her individual events – the 100-meter dash (13.07) and the 400-meter dash (1:00.51) – to give her a team-high four gold medals. Also winning the gold for Ashville was Kayla Simpson in the long jump (15-03.00).
Earning the second-place silver was Kathleen McCarthy in the girls 300-meter hurdles (53.75), Kaylan Ladosky in the girls discus (88-01), Sawyer in the boys 300-meter hurdles (44.79), the boys 4×400-meter relay team of Sawyer, Kanyon White, Travis Smith and Ashton Vann (3:39.31) and the boys 4×800-meter relay team of Stevens, Vann, Smith and Clayton Knight (9:07.68).
Taking home the third-place bronze were Taylor Knight in the girls 1600-meter run (5:33.92) and 3200-meter run (12:38.66); Nick Spears in the boys 110-meter hurdles (18.98) and javelin (132-05); Lydia Northam in the girls high jump (4-06.00); Joe Stevens in the boys 1600-meter run (4:43.95); and Garrett Spears in the boys pole vault (9-00.00).
Top 10 performances that earned a trip to the state meet were:
* Kayla Simpson, girls triple jump: fourth, 31-05.50
* Kayla Simpson, girls shot put: fourth, 28-11.75
* Gabe Sawyer, boys high jump: fourth, 5-04.00)
* Clayton Knight, boys pole vault: fourth, 9-00.00
* Callie Stewart girls 800-meter run: fifth, 2:34.01
* Callie Stewart, girls 1600-meter run: fifth, 5:47.60
* Meghan McCarthy, girls 3200-meter run: fifth, 13:19.13
* Ashton Vann, boys 800-meter run: fifth, 2:07.20
* Clayton Knight, boys 3200-meter run: fifth, 10:49.32
* Kathleen McCarthy, girls 800-meter run: sixth, 2:36.21
* Kayla Simpson, girls 300-meter hurdles: sixth, 54.28
* Meghan McCarthy, girls 1600-meter run: seventh, 6:02.09
* Molly Northam: girls 400-meter dash: sixth, 1:07.40
* Ashton Vann, boys 400-meter dash: sixth, 53.90
* Lydia Northam, girls long jump: seventh, 12-11
* Lydia Northam, girls triple jump: seventh, 27-7
* Molly Northam, girls 100-meter hurdles: seventh, 20.89
* Clayton Knight, boys 1600-meter run: seventh, 5:05.31
* Joe Stevens, boys 800-meter run: seventh, 2:10.50
* Molly Northam, girls 300-meter hurdles, eighth, 54.78
* Meghan McCarthy, girls triple jump: eighth, 27-1.25
* Kaylan Ladowsky, girls shot put: eighth, 26-11
* Kaylan Ladowsky, girls javelin: eighth, 63-8
* Abby Smith, girls high jump: eighth, 4-2
* Taylor Knight, girls 800-meter run: 10th, 2:45.81
“I’m so thankful for Coach Adams, Wayne Knight, and Jay Stewart for helping me coach this group of kids,” said Rogers. “I’m also extremely grateful for our parents and cheering section at that last turn of the track. There was not a louder or more excited group of people than the Ashville family at Beauregard High School on April 23 and 24.”