Six Blue Devils win gold medals at state meet
Falkville boys and girls both finish 2nd in team rankings
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Falkville took second place in both the boys and girls divisions of the Class 2A state track meet at Birmingham-Heardmont Park in Birmingham last week. The boys finished with 102 points, behind first place Altamont, who had 135 points. The girls had 87 points and also finished behind Altamont, who had 164 points.
Six members of the Blue Devils brought home gold medals. Shane Edge won four gold medals, winning the 400-meter and 800-meter runs and taking first as a member of the champion 4-by-400 and 4-by-800 relay teams. Edge's time of 2:03.48 in the 800 meters just beat out teammate Jace Wilemon's 2:03.69.
The 4-by-800 relay team finished with a new state record, breaking the old mark which had stood for 19 years. The team of Edge, Jonathan McNatt, Justin Blanchard and Jace Wilemon finished with a time of 8 minutes, 22.56 seconds, a little less than 17 seconds faster than second place Altamont. The old record of 8:29.25 was set by Randolph in 1987.
Falkville's other individual gold medal was won by Josh Henderson, who took first place in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet, 6 inches. He just beat out teammate McNatt, whose best jump was 10 feet.
Joining Edge on the state championship 4-by-400 meter team were McNatt, Wilemon and Cody Sewell. Their winning time of 3:31.23 was over eight seconds faster than the time of second place Lanett.
Winning bronze medals for Falkville were Jonathan Lindsey in the shot put, Sewell in the high jump and Wilemon in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Falkville girls had no gold medalists, but Alisha Sparkman finished in second place in two track-and-field events. Sparkman's pole vault of 7 feet, 6 inches was bested by Altamont's Mary Alice Reilly, who cleared 8 feet. Sparkman also finished with a silver medal in the javelin, with her throw of 109 feet, 3 inches beaten by Phil Campbell's Shelly Cooper, who threw 111 feet, 11 inches.
The 4-by-400 relay team of Emily Robbins, Alesia Smith, Nichole Lee and Krystal Gibbs also took a silver medal. Their time of 4:26.09 was bested by Altamont, who ran the race in 4:19.32.
Paige McCarley took bronze medals in both the high jump and triple jump for Falkville. The girls 4-by-800 relay team of Robbins, Crystal Carver, Tara Tucker and Gibbs also finished third.
Priceville's boys finished in ninth place at the meet with 31 points and the girls were eighth place with 27.5 points. The boys' highest finishers were Garrett Bailey and Brad Helton, who took second place in the 200 meters and shot put, respectively.
Bailey's time of 24.11 was bested by Tim Simon of Cordova's 23.97. Helton threw 42 feet, 2.25 inches and just was beaten out by Lamar County's Cleveland Tubbs, who threw 42 feet, 3 inches.
The best finishes for the Priceville girls were both by Meagan Harper, who took silver medals in the shot put and discus throw. Harper's shot throw of 30 feet, 8.75 inches was bested by Tasha Petree of Red Bay's throw of 35 feet, 1 inch. Harper also fell short of Petree in the discus throw, with her mark of 89 feet, 6 inches beaten by Petree's throw of 101 feet, 9 inches.
Danville's Casey Wilson took third place in the high jump and Brewer's Joseph Burton had a bronze medal finish in the 100 meters at their respective meets. Hartselle had no medal winners this year, although Shan Jones finished in fourth place in the shot put.