Daily photos by Emily Saunders|
From left, Jackie Doughty of Central-Tuscaloosa, Maegan Miller of Trinity Presbyterian, Emily Robbins of Falkville, Faith Mcraney of Priceville and Kate Burgoon of Randolph round the first turn in the girls 400-meter dash during the state indoor track championship in Priceville on Saturday.
Blue Devils’ boys capture school’s first-ever indoor track championship
By Brooke Milam
PRICEVILLE — For the Falkville High Blue Devils, the second and final day of the state indoor track and field meet began with senior Shane Edge and sophomore Jace Wilemon finishing first and second in the 400-meter dash.
That set the tone for the day, which culminated eight hours later with the Blue Devils’ boys winning the Class 1A-4A team championship at Celebration Arena.
“That was the neatest thing when the kids sat around the track and going up to the podium,” Falkville coach Karen Wilemon said after the award ceremony.
While the Falkville boys won the school’s first team state championship, the Lady Blue Devils finished second in the girls 1A-4A team event.
“Our boys team at Falkville has never won a state championship before,” said Edge, who added that the program should remain strong in the future. “These past few years have been a good turnout — only recently have we been doing real well.
“This is my senior year, but we’ve got some young kids, too. Jace is a sophomore, and he’s running about the same times I am.”
The Blue Devils’ boys entered the final day with a 38-14 lead over usual favorite Altamont, and they finished with 95 points to Altamont’s 41.
In the girls division, Falkville scored 43.5 points, while Altamont won with 115.
“Everyone we expected to do well did, and a few we thought could do good have really done well, too,” Wilemon said. “I’ve been real pleased — a couple of unexpected things, but it’s always nice to have the good unexpected.”
Falkville’s boys won the 3,200-meter relay on the legs of Edge, Jace Wilemon, Cory Hill and Justin Blanchard. The Blue Devils 1,600-meter relay team of Edge, Jace Wilemon, Shane Ellis and Jonathan McNatt finished second.
Edge competes in the maximum of four events, but instead of having him compete in four individual events and battle for the meet’s most valuable performer award, Falkville asks Edge to compete on a couple of relays and two individual events.
Wilemon said Edge’s willingness to help in the relays reflects the kind of unselfishness that has led to the Blue Devils’ success.
Garrett Bailey of Priceville competes in the 400-meter dash during the state indoor track championship in Priceville on Saturday.
“I’ve told him, ‘Your an MVP candidate-type as an individual,’ but he’ll never get that because he does those two relays,”
she said. “He gives up something for himself on the relays — he does that for the team.”
Falkville’s Cody Sewell won the meet’s most valuable performer honor for 1A-4A boys, which was based on individual point totals.
In the girls division, Falkville’s Krystal Gibbs was second in the 400-meter dash, while the Lady Blue Devils had two third-place relay teams.
In the 3,200-meter relay, Gibbs, Emily Robbins, Celese Sharbutt and Stephanie Koerber were third. Koerber, Robbins, Grace Wilhite and Nichole Lee were third in the 1,600-meter relay.
It was in the 1,600-meter that the Lady Blue Devils secured second place. Falkville co-coach Keith Wilemon let Lee know the importance of the event before she took the handoff.
“We had let her know that we had to have the points, and she just flew right past them,” Karen Wilemon said.
Also on Saturday, Decatur’s Meghan Hawkins was fourth in 5A in the 1,600-meter run, and the Lady Red Raiders’ 3,200-meter relay team of Hawkins, Meg Adams, Mary Elaine Williamson and Sally Adams was also third.
“They ran a little faster than we expected, but we thought they’d be in the top
four for sure,” Decatur coach Rick Doke said.
Austin’s Jennifer Dunn was third in 6A in the 1,600-meter run, while Lady Black Bears’ Miranda Goode finished in the top six in the shot put.
The Black Bears’ boys 800-meter relay team of Dontae Newman, Darius Moore, Rondrico Isom and Kinard Wallace was fourth, and Wallace placed fifth in the 55-meter dash.
“We had a really good showing,” Austin coach Casey Reed said. “We didn’t score as many points as we’d like, but we were more competitive.
“(Class) 6A is so deep and we made some positive steps. We’re going to take some time off now, regroup, and get ready for the outdoor season. We’re definitely making steps in the right direction.”
And while good competition made for an exciting meet, veteran Falkville coach Wilemon said organizers of the event also deserve a lot of credit for its success as well.
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