Published 12:04 am Tuesday, May 6, 2014

0506 spt-Johnathon Hines

Opp senior Johnathon Hines finished first in the Class 3A boys 300-meter hurdles event Saturday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Hines captures top place in 3A hurdles

Walking down Opp High School’s hallway, one couldn’t help but notice senior Johnathon Hines’ new jewelry.

Hines was wearing gold and silver yesterday morning after he captured the Class 3A state title in the 300-meter hurdles event at the track and field championships on Saturday in Selma.

The Bobcats senior finished the event in 41.37 seconds to set a new state record, beating out Saks’ Cole Thompson, who clocked in at 42.25.

“It feels great to say that you’re the best in the state,” Hines said. “Everybody doubted me, but I proved them wrong.”

Hines had been in and out of trouble as a youngster, but recently got back on track to come back and finish his senior year on a high note.

“When I was younger, I got sent off because I was getting in a lot of trouble,” he said. “I didn’t get to play my senior year.”

The silver medal Hines won came after he and teammates Ta Bonham, Derek Savage and Orlando Lacey finished second in the boys 4×100 event.

Hines has been running track since he was in the seventh grade.

When asked what it takes to compete in the hurdles event, the senior said it’s all about having the right “mind set.”

“If you have it, then anything is possible,” Hines said. “You can do anything. You’ve just got to work hard.”

Hines admitted that he was a bit nervous on Saturday before the event started.

“Well, I was racing against one of the fastest people in 3A,” he said. “I was kind of nervous, but I did what I had to do.”

In order to race in the hurdles event, one must count the number of steps and get them down pat, Hines said.

The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder said the accomplishment hasn’t set in, yet.

“I guess it’ll hit me when I get my ring,” Hines said. “I’m just waiting on my ring.”

In other track and field action, Lacey grabbed silver in the 100-meter dash, and bronze in the 200-meter; Opp’s Saquaya Lane won bronze in the girls discus; and Savage finished fourth in the boys discus.

Florala’s Ray Hall punched a fourth-place finish in the boys Class 1A long jump event, jumping 6.23 meters or close to 20.5 feet.

Hines is the son of April Phillips of Opp. He has a son, Cohen Michael; and wanted to give credit to classmates, Savage, Quantavise Stoudemire, Bonham and Jalen Wade; along with brothers, Demetrice and Chamberland Hines; and last but not least, his grandmother, Betty Mullin.

Red Level’s John Lee finished fifth in the boys 200-meter dash.