Athletes at Florala, Red Level bring home state titles after track championship meet
Published 11:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2023
Florala High School and Red Level School had successful showings at the AHSAA 1A-3A State Track Championship with four state championships Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6 in Cullman.
The Florala boys’ team placed third overall in the state.
“We had 26 kids who broke numerous school records and really surprised a lot of people. We were six and a half points from winning the state championship and three points from getting state runner-up. We are very proud of the kids and were successful on both ends. The guys took 16 to state, which is a lot for a 1A school. It’s been very exciting, and there is a lot of excitement around,” Head Track Coach Jordan Cantrell said.
Zane Weeks, Kaden Cantrell, Johan Zamora, and Rayshon Coleman finished as the state champion in the 4×400 meter relay with a school-record time of 3:38.04. Weeks also won the state championship in javelin with a distance of 160 feet, 4 inches.
“If I didn’t have my teammates behind me, I would have never been in that situation. Without their help, coming from behind doesn’t even really matter. Not many people win state championships, and Florala is one of the smaller groups to do that. Having the opportunity to put Florala on the map is a good feeling. I have been doing the javelin since my sophomore year but started taking it seriously last year. I had to split practice between running and javelin. The support I have received really motivates me to keep going and go above and beyond,” Weeks said.
“I didn’t really practice much but have a lot of love for the seniors and did all I could. It’s incredible to have their leadership, and this recognition means a lot,” Coleman said.
“This was my first year, and I had been working for this moment since February. It feels good to leave high school with this accomplishment, and I feel proud to be a Wildcat,” Zamora said.
“It means a lot to represent Florala as a state champion. We are grateful for all the people who have supported us this year in track. I was lucky to have my dad help me out and push me even harder. Not many people have that opportunity,” Cantrell added.
Elijah McMeans finished in second place in both the 110-meter hurdle and 300-meter hurdle events. Seth Cotton was third in 110-meter and fifth in 300-meter. Zamora took sixth place in the 800-meter run. Judd Goolsby, Coleman, McMeans, and Weeks were runner-up in the 4×100 meter relay. John Howell, Layton Stone, Noah Anderson, and Zamora were sixth in the 4×800 meter relay.
Field events saw Weeks earn second place in discus, McMeans in third for high jump, and Coleman in fifth for high jump and ninth for long jump. Emery Wood notched third place in both the 800-meter run and 1600-meter run, and Christina Sanders was fifth in the 1600-meter run.
Miracle Wright at Red Level took two state championships in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.89 seconds and 200-meter dash in 26.68 seconds. Wright won the state title in the 100-meter dash for the third consecutive year.
“It felt really good to win these because my ninth grade year is an important year with colleges starting to recognize me, and I would like to attend college for track. I was happy about winning, and it was a really good feeling. It’s nice to have people support me because it would be 10 times harder without that. My grandmother passed away, but I dedicate myself to her. Having a medical condition early in my life has put me at this point, and I like this because my name keeps going on the wall at the track,” Wright said.
Malikye Wright was eighth in the 300-meter hurdles, and Jackson Ingram earned 15th. Luke Hodges took 14th in the 1600-meter run. Tony Veasey finished in fifth place with a distance of 114 feet, 8 inches in discus and 40-09.00 in shot put. Dominic Williams was eighth in javelin, and Kentravious Likely notched 15th in discus.
Opp’s Damirian Thompson earned fifth place in the high jump at 5-10.00. Le’Tasia Coleman took 10th in the 300-meter hurdles followed by Crystal Rogers in 22nd. Saban Sasser was 21st in the 800-meter run. Alan Jones was 20th in high jump at 5-04.00. Mackenzie Phillips and Brooke Williams were 14th and 23rd, respectively, in javelin.
Pleasant Home had two runner-up finishes in pole vault with Vance Kelley at 11-00.00 and Pressley Kelley at 7-06.00. Chris Scott was sixth at 9-00.00. Jackson Hawkins earned a time of 5:21.68 for ninth place in the 1600-meter run and was 13th in the 800-meter run. Briley Douglas had a distance of 71 feet, 11 inches for 16th in discus, and Brody Bryan was 18th in 300-meter hurdles. Chloe Bush notched 24th place in javelin with a distance of 51 feet, 9 inches. Joel Wilkinson and Bryan were 14th and 19th in triple jump, respectively.
Aaron Olhava led Straughn with an eighth place finish in long jump at 19-09.75. Kaitlyn Bybee earned 10th in the 3200-meter run. Avery Smith finished in 11th at shot put, while Kayla Stephens took 11th place in discus and 17th in shot put. Will Anderson grabbed 12th in triple jump, and Chloe Anderson took 21st in javelin. Faithe Eib was 15th in the 1600-meter run and 20th in the 800-meter run. The girls’ 4×800 meter relay team had a time of 11:43.71 for seventh place in the state.