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Priceville's golden duo

By Staff
Baker, Lawson set state record in javelin
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
PRICEVILLE – He is a former baseball outfielder who thought he had a strong arm and might be good at throwing in a field event.
She is a multi-event track athlete in her second year of varsity competition.
The pair has two things in common, though – each has a gold medal from the Alabama state track and field championships and a state record in the event.
Meet Priceville High juniors Justin Lawson and Kristy Baker. They're the best in the state at what they do-throw the javelin.
Lawson smashed the state record for boys by 10-feet two-inches with a throw of 152-feet two-inches. The old mark set was 142 feet. For Lawson the record was unexpected. He threw 133 feet and 10 inches just nine days earlier when he took second at sectionals. The record at the state championships took him by surprise.
"After I threw, some of the guys asked me how far it was," Lawson said. "They told me that was a record. I was surprised. When they said it was 10-feet past the record I thought they might have been kidding."
Lawson, who also runs the 400-meter and is part of the Bulldog's 4X400-meter relay team, expressed his joy with the new state mark.
"I think it's pretty neat," Lawson said. "I was really proud about it when I found out it was official."
Baker, who took the silver medal in the long jump and the bronze in the triple jump, won the gold with a throw of 113 feet. For Baker it broke her own mark of 107 feet and 11 inches she set nine days before.
Baker was confident she could win even before the state meet.
"I don't want to sound cocky," Baker said. "But I set the state record last year at 102 and then threw 107-11 at sectionals this year. I thought I had a good chance to win because I had set the state record twice. But I didn't expect to set the record a third time."
Baker set the first of her three state records at the 2003 state championships.
She did not, however, receive a gold medal in the event.
The state did not award medals because the javelin was an exhibition event last year, the first season it was held in the girls division of the state championships.
"It was disappointing not to get a gold medal," Baker said. "I won the event and set a state record and it was still a competition. I think I should have been given a medal, but it's okay now."
Both athletes hope to attend college and would welcome the chance to pursue their education on a track scholarship.
Lawson expressed the sentiments of both athletes when discussing their goals for their senior year.
"Win another gold medal," Lawson said. "And beat my state record."