Central girls win two state titles at state indoor meet

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By Mark Clark

The Central High girls track team left the Alabama State Indoor Meet in Birmingham this past weekend with two titles. The girls won both the 4 x 200 meter and 4 x 400 meter relay events.

The squad captured the 4 x 200 meter relay on the first day of the indoor meet and took the 4 x 400 meter relay in the final event of the second day.

“I was happy with how we performed. I felt we had a lot of people come out of the event better than they went in,” Central coach Charles Fortune said of his squad. 

“We had a few people improve upon their season bests at the event. We had a jumper increase his best by six inches. That is very good to see. Those gave us points we didn’t know we would get.”

Asked if he thought the girls would win both relay events at the meet, Fortune said he was optimistic as they headed into the two events.

“I knew we had a good chance to win them. Our girls had the best time in the state going into the 4 x 400,” Fortune said.

The Central girls had a time of 4:01.99 entering the state indoor meet. At the meet, it recorded a time of 4:01.79 – the 34th best time in the nation this year. The girls ran a time of 1:44.54 at the MLK Indoor Meet for the 42nd best time in the nation. At the state indoor meet, the team ran a time of 1:44.99.

The members of the 4 x 200 meter relay team for Central were Tanryn Thorn, Mkiyah Conner, Mariah McCord and Vennessa Frank.

The 4 x 400 team members were Thorn, Conner, Frank and Samiah Love.

The girls finished with 36 total points and placed eighth overall in Class 7A.

In addition to being a member of the winning relay teams, Frank finished third in the 400 meter dash with a time of 57.14 seconds. Tokunbo Ayinmide was fourth in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.49 seconds.

Central boys finish seventh in Class 7A

The Central High boys’ track team was seventh in the Class 7A division of the Alabama State Indoor Meet in Birmingham with 36 total points.

The team’s 4 x 400 meter relay squad finished second overall with a time of 3:24.37. The team had the fastest time entering the meet. The squad ran a time of 3:26.22 on the same track at the MLK Indoor Meet in January. The time the squad ran at the MLK meet was the 12th best in the nation this year.

Central’s 4 x 200 meter relay team was third with a time of 1:30.51.

Malik Johnson placed third in the High Jump with a leap of 6-4 – six inches higher than he had jumped during the season. Antonio Crisco was 4th in the Long Jump with a leap of 21-7.75.

In the 400 meter dash, Central took fifth and sixth places. Shemar Taylor ran 50.08 seconds for fifth place. Quandaveus Gilliam was sixth with a time of 50.45 seconds.