Six locals qualify for AHSAA track & field finals

Published 10:10 pm Friday, April 29, 2016

Six local athletes used Friday’s sectionals to qualify for the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s track and field championships.

Most of Friday’s events were just heats that set up finals on Saturday, but several other events didn’t have a heat and instead held state championship qualifiers Friday.

Keith’s Quomila Johnigan, Southside’s Antanya Dudley and Christopher Davis, Ellwood Christian’s Rashni Walker and Brianna Dower and Dallas County’s Caleb McDougal all qualified for the AHSAA state finals Friday after standout performances at various venues.

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Johnigan finished third in the 1A girls’ 400-meter dash at Paul Bryant High School with a time of 1:06.62. This is the fourth straight year she’s qualified for an event at the state level. She will also try to qualify in the 200-meter dash on Saturday after finishing second overall with a time of 28.03 seconds.

Davis finished first in the 4A boys’ triple jump at Smith Station after a jump of over 44 feet. Dudley finished second in the 4A girls’ shot put with a throw of 27 feet.

Walker and Dower each qualified in the 1A girls’ long jump for Ellwood at Paul Bryant High. Walker, a seventh grader, won the qualifier with a jump of 14-foot-7 and Dower was only a foot behind. Walker will also try to qualify for state in the 200-meter dash after qualifying for Saturday’s final.

“We got started a little late so we had to push extra harder,” said Ellwood track coach Jeffery Walker. “It paid off. I’m proud of them for working and going out and doing their best.”

McDougal qualified by finishing third in the discus throw at Beauregard High School.

“He works hard and puts extra time,” said Dallas County track coach Cliff Nix. “He goes out to the park sometimes by himself. I can’t take any credit for it. He’s a hard worker and has been doing it since ninth grade.”

Selma’s Karl Robbins finished fifth in the boys 6A high jump final at Paul Bryant High School. It was unclear Friday evening if Robbins’ total would be good enough to qualify him for state.

Several other local athletes will participate in finals on Saturday.

Selma’s Johnathan Pressley (200 meter dash) and the Saints’ 4×100 meter relay teams will race Saturday at Paul Bryant.

Keith’s Tyeshia Malone finished second in the qualifier for the 100-meter dash and will run for state on Saturday.  Malone’s Keith teammates Jeremiah Campbell (100-meter dash) and Travis Goldsby (200-meter dash) also ran fast enough Friday to qualify for Saturday finals. Dallas County’s Tynesha Jones (200-meter dash), Anthony Oliver (100-meter dash) and both of the Hornets 4×100 relay teams ran fast enough to run for trips to state on Saturday.

Ellwood Christian’s Jasmine Morgan (shot put), Macio Johnson (200-meter dash) and T’markus Simmons (200-meter dash) will run for state Saturday.

Southside’s Davis, Martravious Hall, Ladarius Harrison and Arzende Pettway will run the 4×100 meter relay Saturday for the Panthers after finishing fifth in heats on Friday.

Several other local athletes will also compete for trips to state on Saturday. Several events that will hold finals on Saturday did not have a preliminary round.

The AHSAA state finals will be held May 5-7. The 1A-3A final will be held May 6-7 at Cullman High School and the 4A-7A meet will be held May 5-7 in Gulf Shores.