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Area runners qualify for finals

Escambia Academy’s Jaylen Henry pulls away from Morgan Academy’s Austin Smitherman in the final leg of the men’s 4-by-100-meter relay at Memorial Stadium during the AISA state track meet preliminary finals Wednesday. -- Chris Wasson

The AISA state track meet held its preliminary events Wednesday at Memorial Stadium and Morgan Academy and Meadowview Christian School both are doing well.

Coaches from both schools said they were pleased with the way their athletes had qualified and were hoping for more.

“Right now we have about 17 boys that are qualified for tomorrow,” Meadowview coach John Glasscock said. “That is big for our track program. We weren’t very good for a while and are trying to build it up. This is a good start.”

Morgan coach Rob Robinson said he though his team was on a good pace for tomorrow.

“We’ve have got the athletes qualified, who should be and a few others,” Robinson said. “Today is all about just making it to the next day except for a couple of events. We have done a pretty good job with that.”

The meet has not gone on without a little bit of controversy according to Robinson, who is also serving as the race director.

The meet’s grievance committee was called into action multiple times, slowing down the races and pushing events further back off schedule.

“It’s been anything from not all the uniforms looking the same, to numbers falling off during the race,” Robinson said. “Some of that stuff should be dealt with the coaches before the meet even starts and we shouldn’t have to push the race back for them, but it is the rules.”

Only two finals were held Wednesday, the high jump and the 3200-meter relay.

Several Meadowview Christian runners qualified for Thursday’s finals. In the 4-by-2 800, Brett Sharpe, Michael Ward, Dylan Watts and Greg Piper will represent the Trojans. Shelby York, Tanner Dismukes, Travis Spacey and Tyler Perry will participate in the 3200 meter.

Brandon Smith, Ward, Dylan Lawrence and Piper will run the 400 meter relay and Brett Sharpe, Lawrence, Hunter Smith and Piper will run thhe 1600 meter.

Four Lady Trojans also qualified for the 4-by4 relay. Chelsea Perry, Shelton Brady, Jeni Redd and Mallory Freine will represent Meadowview.