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Patriots take three gold medals in track

The Linden High track team turned in a strong performance at the Class 1A state meet last weekend, placing fourth overall in only its third year of existence.

“I was real proud of them getting up there and battling,” Linden coach Andro Williams said. “I was just real proud of the way they worked. We were four points off third place for the state.”

The Patriots returned to Linden with three gold medals after placing in the top three in eight different events. Two of the three Linden golds belong to Milton Anthony, a senior who just completed the only track season of his high school career.

“He’s just a pure athlete,” Williams said of Anthony. “I would have liked to have seen him be in that track program for three years.”

Anthony’s lone trip to state brought him the gold in the high jump and in the 110-meter hurdles. Anthony leaped six feet, two inches in the high jump, winning the event by three inches. Teammate Najee Bright took fourth in the event. Anthony outpaced Cameron Morrow of Maplesville by two-tenths of a second to win the 110-meter hurdles. Anthony also took fifth in the boys 300-meter hurdles, coming in one spot behind teammate Terrance Raby. Linden just missed a bronze medal as Raby was five-one thousandths of a second off of third place.

The other Patriot gold medal went to the team’s 4×100 squad. That group, consisting of Terrance Raby, Julian Little, Najee Bright and Kendarius Fritts, edged Hubbard by five one hundredths of a second when Fritts mounted a come-from-behind sprint down the stretch.

“Our kids believe in team,” Williams said, noting that the 4×100 team was able to win gold despite having not one runner qualified for state in either the 100 or 200 individual events. “Each of these guys carries each other. They just believe in team, that 4×100 and 4×400 team.”

The 4×400 team did well for itself also, placing third in state to take home bronze. That quartet included Kendal Allen, Levi Burpo, Fritts and Terris Lewis.

Other Linden boys who medaled were Mark Williams, who took second in the shot put and Bright, who placed third in the long jump.

“The big surprise Najee Bright,” Williams said. “He did well down the stretch.”

The Patriot girls put together a strong showing as well, taking home two relay medals on the day. The girls 4×400 team of Latressa Compton, Samone Jackson, Alexis Johnson and Cierra Jones took third overall while the 4×100 team also finished in third. Williams is excited about the program’s future as the majority of his runners have at least one more year.

Other area athletes who competed included A.L. Johnson’s Terra King, who took fifth in the girls shot put. Jasmine Wagner of Sunshine finished 11th in that event. Eddie Custard of A.L. Johnson took eighth in the boys shot put.

Kelsey Kennedy of Marengo took seventh in the girls discus throw while Linden’s Keiunta Goodwill and Williams finished eighth and 16th respectively in the boys discus.

Ashley Edwards of ALJ took fourth in the girls long jump, finishing only two one-hundredths of an inch off of third place. Takeatha Hinton took 11th in that event while Tiffanie Pritchett finished 17th. Joshua Jackson of A.L. Johnson took ninth in the boys long jump.

Linden’s Compton landed in fourth on the girls triple jump while fellow Patriots Marquis Shelton and Jeremy Carr took eighth and 11th respectively in the boys event.

In the girls 100-meter dash, Sunshine’s Shafontaye Myers took fifth. Marengo’s Pritchett finished ninth. In the boys 100-meter, Sunshine sprinter Shawn McCalpine finished second while Jermarkis Teacher took fifth. Little of Linden took 13th in that event.

In the girls 200-meter dash, Myers of Sunshine finished fifth in the preliminaries and sixth overall. Teammate Johnquesha Childs finished 11th. Linden’s Hinton took 11th in the event. The boys 200 saw McCalpine finish third while Linden’s Raby and Little came in ninth and 11th respectively.

The girls 400-meter dash saw Marengo’s Keondra Bouler finish in fourth, just three seconds behind a bronze medal. Linden’s Johnson took eighth in the event while Tanjela Woods of Sunshine finished 18th. Linden’s Lewis took 19th in the boys 400.

Kayanna Rich of Marengo finished 12th overall in the girls 100-meter hurdles while Linden’s Cierra Jones ended in 16th place. Uribe Sneed ended up in 10th place for Sunshine in the boys 110-meter hurdles.

The girls 300-meter hurdles saw Alexis Johnson of Linden take eighth place while Compton landed in 13th. Tiana Smith of Marengo finished the race 18th. Linden’s Raby and Anthony, the only two local sprinters in the boys 300-meter hurdles, came in fourth and fifth respectively.

Alexis Lewis of Sunshine finished 15th in the girls 800-meter run while Burpo of Linden took ninth in the boys version of the race.

Linden’s Jackson took 14th in the girls 1600-meter sprint while Kimberly Lanier of Marengo finished 21st. Burpo took 11th for Linden in the boys 1600 while ALJ’s Richard McGee and Robert Rutledge ended up 17th and 20th respectively.

The Sunshine girls 4×100 team took eighth in preliminaries, qualifying for state. However the team suffered an infraction and subsequent disqualification in the state finals. Their male counterparts finished fourth in preliminaries and third overall as the Sunshine boys 4×100 team toted the bronze medal. ALJ’s team qualified sixth in preliminaries but also suffered a disqualifying infraction in the state finals.

Sunshine’s girls 4×400 team of Eulacia Edwards, Kia Hill, Shantell Myers and Tanjela Woods took fifth while Marengo’s Keondra Bouler, Riaira King, Tiffanie Pritchett and Kayanna Rich finished sixth in the event. Sunshine’s boys 4×400 team of Jamie Binns, Tevin Griffin, Chester Johnson and Uribe Sneed finished ninth overall while ALJ’s team of Thomas Hood, Deandre Langhorne, Kejuan McGhee and Robert Rutledge took 16th.

Linden’s 4×800 relay team of Anthony, Burpo, Carr and Lewis finished sixth overall in state.

At the Class 5A level, Demopolis’ Dalvin Harris took 18th overall in the boys 100 and 15th overall in the boys 200. Terrance Charleston qualified for the 400-meter dash but suffered a disqualification in the finals. The Tigers’ 4×100 relay team suffered a disqualification. Demopolis’ 4×400 team of Rodney Harper, Larry Cobb, Harris and Charleson took fourth overall. The Tigers’ 4×800 team of Harper, Cobb, Jeremy Wallace and Jemarcus Alvis finished 21st overall.

On the girls side, Catrina Benison took 11th in the 100 while Shadijah Moore took 16th. Demekeia Marshall took 15th in the girls 200 while Janiya Davis and Benison finished 21st and 22nd respectively. Ashya Samuels took 16th in the girls 400. A

After taking third in the preliminaries, the Demopolis 4×100 team of Marshall, Moore, Benison and Davis finished fourth in state. In the girls 4×400, Samuels, Benison, Marshall and Shenique Collier took fifth overall.