Running in front: Oxford runs faster, jumps higher to win county titles
by Brandon Miller
Apr 01, 2013 | 5607 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE — Oxford High’s reign over Calhoun County isn’t over.

The Yellow Jackets boys and girls teams swept the 2013 Calhoun County Track and Field Championships on Monday at Jacksonville State.

But the wins didn’t come without hard work.

“We told our team that this was not going to be a cakewalk. You’re not going to be able to go in there and take it, you’re going to have to show everybody and earn it,” Oxford girls coach Lydia Elkins said. “Today we think we did that.”

Oxford’s girls compiled 209.5 points in a scoring system that rewarded teams 10 points for every event it wins. Piedmont (194.5) came in second place, followed by Anniston (87), Jacksonville (45.5), White Plains (33), Donoho (30.5), Ohatchee (29), Saks (21.5), Pleasant Valley (20.5), Weaver (6) and Wellborn (4).

“We were watching the score all day,” said Elkins, whose team fought off a challenge by Piedmont. “They showed us their talent as well as us showing them what we had.

“It was definitely a fight to the end for our girls.”

In the boys division, Oxford scored 207 points, while Piedmont was second with 167. Pleasant Valley (62) was third, followed by Jacksonville (44), Saks (44), Anniston (42), Weaver (41), White Plains (38), Ohatchee (24), Wellborn (23) and Donoho (12).

In the girls races, Victory Rimpsey won the 100- and 800-meter dashes for Oxford, while Cori Green was successful in long distance runs, taking first in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Jasmine Carter, who won the 100-meter hurdles, was joined by Rimpsey, Jamiria Bradford and April Dunlap on the 400-meter relay team, while Bradford and Dunlap were joined by Tamiya Butts and Alexis Clark on the first-place 1,600-meter relay team.

Jessica Stringer (shot put) and Bianna Calhoun (discus) each took home first-place medals in field events.

For the Oxford boys, the margin of victory wasn’t as tight, although the Yellow Jackets needed to outlast Piedmont, too.

“We feel like we worked hard enough and we earned it,” Oxford boys coach Marcus Harris said. “Many kids dedicated their spring break just to track alone and sacrificed going to the beach and things like that. It was just so they could have this experience.”

Junior Racean Thomas won the 100-meter dash and high jump, and sophomore Olajade Brown won the 400-meter dash, but Harris said it was the seniors who played the biggest role in the win for the Yellow Jackets.

Jacob Schwyn led the way, winning the 800- and 1,600 meter runs.

Schwyn also joined LaQuandre Ferrell, Kaylan Banks and Brown in the first-place 1,600-meter relay team. T.C. Wills, Zach Lee and seniors Dustin Gaskins and Landon Delozier for Oxford also won the 4x800 meter relay.

“It’s one of those things that we have a couple of kids on our team, and we shook them up in the right way,” Harris said.

In the girls races, Anniston had two athletes win sprint races. Anniston freshman Davia Palmer won the 200-meter dash, while teammate Jasmine Heard, a senior, took the 400-meter title and the long jump. Donoho eighth-grader Samantha Strunk won the 800 meters. Piedmont freshman Karrie Green won the 300-meter hurdles.

In the relays, Piedmont’s Maci Hanson, Rachel Lusk, Jakeiya Mitchell and Tatiana Green wont he 3,200-meter relay. Piedmont’s Breanna Thompson won the triple jump and high jump. Teammate Hayden Tyree won the pole vault. White Plains sophomore Sierra Haynes won the javelin.

In the boys races, Wellborn’s Chantz Goodman won the 200 meters. Pleasant Valley’s Matthew Bonds won the 3,200 meters, while White Plains’ Dalemetrius Reddick won the 110-meter hurdles. Saks’ Isaiah Simmons won the 300-meter hurdles.

In the relays, Piedmont’s Jamie Major, Darnel Jackson, Cody Daughtry and Denard Spears won the 400 meters. Piedmont’s Chase Keener won the pole vault, and Ohatchee’s Jaylyn Spinks took first int he long jump. Saks’ Will Curry (triple jump) and Piedmont’s Xavier Jackson (shot put) and Major (javelin) won events.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star

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