Shondera Richardson (Demopolis) on her way to a 5A 100m title. - Photo by AHSAA.
GULF SHORES - Hoover High School's girls' and boys' track teams swept the AHSAA's 98th State Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Gulf Shores as Coach Chris Schmidt's Bucs swept the Class 7A competition with a strong Saturday finish.
Hoover won its fourth boys' state title in the last five tries and 11th overall posting 126 points to get by defending champion Vestavia Hills, which scored 114. Auburn was third with 104.
The Lady Bucs amassed 120 points to win the school's ninth state crown in the last 10 years. Vestavia Hills was second with 85 points, Hewitt-Trussville had 74 and Auburn finished with 73.
In Class 6A, Mountain Brook's girls won their 12th state with 116 points - edging Northridge, which finished a close second with 111.5. Scottsboro totaled 79 points to nip McGill-Toolen (76) for the boys' state crown. UMS-Wright swept the boys' and girls' state 5A championships with 177 and 112 points, respectively. The state title was the 23rd overall for the Bulldogs' boys and the 17th for the girls. Pike Road's boys had 53 points to finish runner-up and Beauregard's girls had 90.5 to take second place in the 5A girls' competition. Brooks swept the Class 4A girls' state title for the second straight year totaling 90 points. White Plains and Randolph tied for second with 60 points each. Anniston won the 4A boys' title for the first time in school history. Cobb Avenue, which joined the AHSAA in 1968 when the AIAA and AHSAA combined, won the 3A state championship in 1972 before merging with Anniston. Bibb County had 67 points and Haleyville 47 to finish second and third, respectively, in the boys' 4A meet Saturday.
Some of the top performances noted in the final day included:
RASHNI WALKER, NORTHRIDGE: Won the 100-meter hurdles in Class 6A with a winning time of 14.47, and followed with a first-place finish in the 3000-meter hurdles winning with a 43.54 time.
TIA ACKER, ST. MICHAEL CATHOLIC: Won the Class 4A 100-meter dash with a 12.19 time and the 200-meter dash clocking 24.05 in the finals. Her 200 time set a new Class 4A girls' state meet record eclipsing the previous mark (24.64) set by Shelbi White of Lincoln n 2014.
SHONEDRA RICHARDSON, DEMOPOLIS: Swept the Class 5A girls' 100 and 200-meter dashes with winning times of 12.16 and 24.07 seconds, respectively. She added a third championship medal in the long jump winning with a 19-02.50 leap - setting a new 5A state record eclipsing the old state-meet mark (19-02.25) set by Williamson's Petrina Williamson 31 years earlier at the 1991 state championships.
LUCY BENTON, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Won the 6A 800-meter run with a record time of 2:10.90. Pelham's Katie Strozier set the previous record (2:11.77) in 2018.
TOMMY RODRIGUEZ, ONEONTA: Picked up two golds in Class 4A winning the 200-meter dash (21.77 seconds) and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles (38.52).
CHARLIE SEXTON, AUBURN: Followed Thursday's 10.15-second finish in the Class 7A 100-meter dash prelims by winning the finals with a 10.48 time. He just missed the state mark in winning the 200-meter dash with a winning time of 21.05. Christian Louis of Jackson-Olin edged Clay-Chalkville's Jaylen Mbakwe in a photo finish to capture the 6A 100-meters title clocking 10.73. Mbakwe's time was 10.74. The 5A boys' 100-meters champion was Tallassee's Jalyn Daniels (10.86) and Jackson's Tylen Campbell won the 4A crown (10.88). Louis and Mbakwe also finished 1-2 in the 200-meter dash finals with times of 21.58 and 21.77 seconds, respectively.
And in the final race of the 2022 meet, Hoover's boys edged Vestavia Hills in the 4x400 relay by 1/100th of a second with a winning time of 3:16.31. The Rebels ran 3:16.32.