CULLMAN - The 2022 AHSAA State Track and Field Championships being held at Cullman High School Saturday came down to a last-second shot ... of sorts.
In the Class 2A boys' team championship race, five schools were bunched just four points apart at the top of the leaderboard with one field event, the javelin, and one running event, the 4x400-meter relay, remaining.
LaFayette took second place in the javelin toss thanks to Antavious Woody's 160-foot, 7-inch throw, and the Bulldogs surged to the top to claim the Class 2A state boys' outdoor state title. Cold Springs managed a fourth-place finish in the javelin with Seth Williams' 144-foot toss - and added 13 points in the 1,600-meter race earlier in the competition to emerge as runner-up. Gaston's Kodie Bogle won the javelin event with a 165-10 toss.
The final tally had LaFayette with 71.50 points, Cold Springs with 64.50, Westminster-Oak Mountain with 58, Altamont 54 and St. Luke's Episcopal 52.
Bayside Academy swept the boys' and girls' Class 3A team state championships, Lindsay Lane Christian won the Class 1A boys' title, Mobile Christian was runner-up to Bayside in the 3A boys' and girls' final tally, Holy Spirit Catholic and Westminster-Oak Mountain won the 1A and 2A girls' state crowns.
Bayside and Mobile Christian's girls went down to the wire as well. Heading into the 4x400 race to conclude the state meet, the Leopards led 97-95. Montgomery Catholic won the race, Houston Academy was second and the Lady Admirals took third place while Mobile Christian came in seventh.The 5-2 point swing gave Bayside, coached by Joe Swagart, the girls' state championship with 101 points overall. Mobile Christian wound up with 99.
Bayside's boys, thanks in part to a strong performance by multi-talented Patrick Daves, totaled 132 points to win the 3A title. Mobile Christian had 93 and Dadeville was third with 68.50. Lindsay Lane out-pointed runner-up Winterboro 97 to 78.50 to win the 1A boys' championship. Holy Spirit's girls had 74 points in the title march, and Decatur Heritage was second with 68. Red Level was a close third at 64. Westminster-Oak Mountain dominated in the 2A girls' competition totaling 114 points to runner-up Altamont's 71 and LaFayette, with 64.
Daves cleared 6-6 to win the Class 3A high jump competition and moved quickly into the 110-meter hurdles finals where he with a time of 13.88 seconds - just 4/10ths of a second behind Winfield track legend Trey Cunningham's winning time in 13.42 in 2016. He closed out a strong meet by breaking Cunningham's 3A state meet record in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles with a winning time of 37.73. Cunningham clocked 38.34 as a sophomore to set the record in 2016.
Some of the other top performances at Cullman included:
ETHAN LEMONS, VINEMONT: The junior distance runner captured the Class 3A 3,200-meter race Saturday morning crossing the finish line at 9:22.62 to break his own 3A state record (9:29.11) he set in 2021. Lemons set the Class 3A state meet 1,600 record Friday with a time of 4:15.80.
MOBILE CHRISTIAN 4x100 RELAY: The Leopards clawed out a photo-finish win over Montgomery Catholic in the finals of the 4x100-meter relay Saturday. Mobile Christian's winning time was 43.753 and the Knights' time was officially 43.465 - 12/100ths of second off the pace.
PHIL DOWDELL, DADEVILLE: Won the Class 3A boys' 100-meter dash finals with a photo finish victory. He clocked 11:00 to nip Flomaton's Jaxon Fillmore, who was timed at 11:01, and Mobile Christian's Michael Moore, who had a 11:06 time. Dowdell followed with a championship in the 200-meter dash finals nipping Moore at the finish with a 22.52 time.
TROY McKINNEY, WINTERBORO: Swept the Class 1A boys' 100 and 200-meter dash championships with times of 11.12 and 22.61, respectively. He also won triple jump with a 43-10 leap.
In the girls' competition:
MIRACLE WRIGHT, RED LEVEL: Won the 100-meter dash finals in Class 1A with a time of 12.68 seconds - finishing just a step ahead of teammate Caylee Douglas, who was second at 12.72.
MACAULEY FLANAGAN, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Nipped Mobile Christian's Hailey Padgett and J.B. Pennington's Allison Bryson at the finish line to in the Class 3A girls' 100-meter dash finals. She crossed at 12.39 while Padgett clocked 12.47 and Bryson, 12.50. Flanagan also captured the 200-meter dash title with a time of 25.87.
REAVE METCALF, WESTMINSTER-OAK MOUNTAIN: Set a new Class 2A girls' state pole vault record with a winning clearance of 10-03. Altamont's Merritt Fulmer also surpassed the old mark (9-06) established by Emee Baker of Addison in 2016.