• 70°

Dallas County athletes qualify for state meet

Dallas County qualified for the upcoming Class 4A state track meet in Gulf Shores.

For a team without a track facility and being only a two-year-old program, qualifying 17 athletes in 21 total events for the state track and field meet is a little surreal for Dallas County head coach Robert Dolbare.

“We compete in what I believe is one of the toughest sections in 4A. We are competing against some of the best competition,” Coach Dolbare said. “Last year, after a ten year hiatus, we qualified 15 athletes in eight events for the state meet. This year, we almost tripled the number of events we will be competing in at the state level.”

The Dallas County High School boys’ and girls’ track and field teams competed in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A section meet April 27-28 at Montgomery Academy.

The boys’ track and field team finished third overall and the girls’ track and field team finished fifth overall in the section meet.

Most athletes set personal records throughout the meet, including Kelsey Tripp, who will enter the state meet this weekend in Gulf Shores ranked number one in the 100-meter dash.

Dolbare said the Hornets have shown improvement with each meet.

“We have improved consistently throughout the season,” Dolbare said. “We are trying to make a name for ourselves across the state.”

The Hornets now set their sites on the AHSAA 4A-6A State Track and Field meet, which will be held in Gulf Shores May 4-5 at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium, and Dolbare said the teams have the tools to be able to continue their success.

“I am so proud of all our athletes that went out this past weekend and gave it their all,” Dolbare said. “I believe we are mentally and physically ready to head to Gulf Shores this weekend and lay it all on the line.”

Four athletes walked away with medals in their individual events at sectionals.

Shay Spradley finished third in the girls’ discus throw with a throw of 86 feet, 10 inches.

Shaquita Shields finished third in the girls’ 100-meter dash with a time of 13.09 seconds and finished third in the girls’ long jump competition with her leap of 15 feet, 7 inches.

Chris Hunter finished second in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles with his time of 41.02, a new personal record. Hunter also qualified in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with his time of 16.46, and the 400-meter dash with his time of 53.06.

Tripp finished third in the boys’ 100-meter dash with his time of 11.47 and also finished third in the boys’ 200-meter dash with his time of 23.35.

Tripp also finished second in the boys’ long jump competition with his leap of 20 feet, 3 inches, and second in the boys’ triple jump competition with his jump of 40 feet, 9 inches.

Ben York qualified for the state meet in the 800-meter race with a time of 2 minutes, 13.78 seconds and in the 3200-meter race with a time of 11:16.41.

Rashawn Mosley qualified in two field events over the weekend. Mosely threw 44 feet, 10 inches in the boys’ shot put and 107 feet, 3.25 inches in the discus throw.

Also qualifying for state were all three girls’ relay teams — the 4×100 relay team, composed of Shields, Jasmine Thomas, Brandi Hatter and Karissa Smiley, with a time of 53.33; the 4×800 relay team, composed of Kayla Hitchcock, Courtney Mitchell, Brandi Hatter and Jasmine Thomas, who are all also a part of the 4×400 relay team, with a time of 4:40.54; and the 4×400 relay team with a time of 12:10.51.

All three boys’ relay teams qualified for state — the 4×100 relay team, composed of Maurice Burrell, Josh Jeter, Tripp and Hunter, with a time of 46.31; the 4×800 team, composed of Cameron Boney, Jamie Brown, York and Austin Williams, with a time of 9:42.41; and the 4×400 team, composed of Hunter, William Maze, Burrell and Williams, with a time of 3:47.55.