FHS track team state bound

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Despite having a smaller team than usual this season, the Florala Wildcats track and field team will once again travel to compete in the Class 1A state finals at Troy University this Friday and Saturday.

In preparation for the finals this week, the Wildcats have participated in six regular season meets: Two meets in Troy; one meet in Crestview; and one meet in Jay, Ala.

Wildcat team members who will advance to the state finals this week are Angela Radford (4-by-100-meter relay and 200-meter dash), Olivia Hobbs (4-by-100-meter relay and 100-meter dash), Justina Clissold (4-by-100-meter relay), Hilary Thames (4x100m relay) and George Pappas (javelin).

FHS track and field coach Brandi Evans said she is proud that three of the team members going to Troy this week are “brand new” to the program.

“We’re very proud that three of the five athletes we’ll be taking to the state finals are new to track and field,” Evans said.

Evans said the chances of the team’s success at state will be the same as last year.

“The chances of the girls’ 4-by-100-meter relay team winning this year are the same as they have been for the last three years,” she said. “ It will probably be a race to the finish between Talladega County and our girls.

“Last year, they beat us by 0.13 seconds, but the year before that, we beat them,” she said. “A rivalry has definitely developed between us, but it’s a positive thing because it makes each of us work even harder in the regular season to be prepared for that final race.”

Last year, the Wildcats were the Class 1A state champions in the boys 4-by-100-meter relay and runners-up in the girls 4-by-100-meter relay.

The Wildcats also placed third in the state in boys javelin, boys discus, girls shot put and boys 200-meter dash.

“We’ve become accustomed in the last few years to bringing home one or more state titles, so we are on a mission to keep that streak alive,” Evans said.