By Mark Clark
A trip to Gulf Shores over the weekend was rewarding for five Central High girls at the annual Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A-7A Outdoor Track Champi-onships. The Central girls combined to win both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meters relay events.
Vennessa Frank, Tanryn Thorn, M’kiyah Conner and Mariah McCord teamed up to win the 4 x 100 meters relay in a time of 47.51 seconds.
Karmen Shipp joined with Frank, Thorn and Conner to win the 4 x 400 meter relay with a time of 3:54.59.
Central’s girls finished in sixth place overall with 52 total points.
“We had a few letdowns in some places, but I knew we did not have the depth to win it all. We might have gotten a few more points. Overall, though, I was satisfied with how our girls performed. We don’t have room for a letdown with as few girls as we have competing. It’s hard to compete against a Hoover with all the athletes they have. Our boys did not have the depth either and we had some who competed with injuries and did the best they could. The boys ran well under the conditions. There is nothing I can complain about on either team,” Central High coach Charles Fortune said of his team’s performance in Gulf Shores.
In other events, Central girls finished in second and third places. Frank was the runner-up in the 400 meters dash with a time of 53.33 seconds. Thorn was third in the 200 meters dash with a time of 24.62 seconds. Tokunbo Ayimide took third place in the 100 meters hurdles with a time of 14.83 seconds.
Thorn was fifth in the 400 meters dash with a time of 57.88. Morgan Ficklin was sixth overall in the girl’s event for Discus with a toss of 108 feet. McCord was eighth in the 100 meters with a time of 12.33. Franks was fifth in the 200 meters dash at 24.86 seconds.
Franks ends her high school career as a seven-time champion. In addition to the three titles she won or shared in last year, she was on Central’s winning 4 x 200 and 4 x 400 meters relay teams at this year’s state indoor meet to go along with this past weekend’s 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meters relay teams at the outdoor meet.
Shemar Taylor had the highest finish of any Central boy with a second place finish in the 400 meters dash with a time of 48.80.
Taylor joined with Antonio Crisco, Quandaveous Gilliam and Dion English to take third place in the 4 x 400 meters relay in a time of 3:21.89. Central’s boys were third in the 4 x 100 meters relay with a time of 42.59. Crisco was third in the 300 meters dash with a
Alonzo Fluellen was sixth in the Discus throw for Central with a fling of 144-04. Gilliam finished fifth in the 300 meters hurdles with a time of 38.94 seconds. Taylor finished fourth in the 200 meters dash with a time of 22.43 seconds.
Smiths Station High had some athletes place in the state outdoor championships. Chad Strickland threw the Shot Put 49-06.5 for Smiths Station to finish in fourth place. Savian Taylor was fourth in the 800 meters run with a time of 1:55.70. Smiths Station’s boys finished seventh in the 4 x 400 meters dash with a time of 8:08.77.