Birmingham, AL – Hoover High School’s track teams clinched the AHSAA Class 7A state championships for the third consecutive year as the 54th indoor state championships came to a thrilling conclusion at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Coach Chris Schmidt’s Hoover girls’ scored a total of 90 points, outpacing second-place Hewitt-Trussville, coached by James Carlee, who finished with 59 points. The girls’ victory was underscored by their 4×400 relay team, which set a new state and CrossPlex record of 3:53.64, breaking their own records from 2018 and 2023 respectively.
The Hoover boys’ team, amassing 133.5 points, secured the 7A crown for the 13th time in program history, while coach Richard Anderson’s Vestavia Hills Rebels took second place with 79 points. This marks the 11th state indoor title for the Hoover girls’ and the seventh time both teams have concurrently swept the indoor state championships in the same year, following victories in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023.
In the Class 4A/5A division, coach Luke Robinson’s Scottsboro Wildcats took home the girls’ title with 72 points, narrowly beating the Arab Arabian Knights, coached by Connor Reese, who finished with 63 points. The boys’ competition was a closer contest, with Scottsboro and John Carroll Catholic separated by a mere point leading into the final 4×400 relay. However, a strong finish in the pole vault and a first-place finish in the relay propelled Scottsboro to a total of 80 points, leaving John Carroll in second place with 61 points.
The Mountain Brook’s girls took home the 6A state title, marking the school’s 23rd consecutive win and tying St. Paul’s Episcopal’s record for indoor state crowns. Other winners included Northridge who won the 6A boys’ state championship, Houston Academy who claimed the 1A/3A girls’ state title, and Cold Springs who won the boys’ 1A/3A championship.
Top performances from this year’s AHSAA Indoor Track Championships are listed below:
CLASS 7A GIRLS
DAISY LUNA, HOOVER: The sophomore recorded a personal best 55.81 in the 400-meter dash to take first place. Bob Jones freshman Alivia Urrutia finished a close second (56.33) with her personal best. The 7A state record (54.11) was set in 2019 by Nicole Payne of Oak Mountain.
JASMYNE ROCHELLE, BOB JONES: The freshman high jumper cleared 5-04 to win the event in Class 7A. She was just two inches shy of the 7A state meet record set by Hoover’s Genesis Jones in 2018.
TY CASON, CHELSEA: The sophomore came close to breaking the Class 7A indoor state record in the 1,600 meters run with a winning time Saturday of 4:58.00. Oak Mountain senior Lauren Cole was second – also running a personal best – clocking 5:04.33. The 7A state meet record (4:56.68) was established at the 2023 state meet by Chelsea runner Cady McPhail.
TAYLOR CANADA, HOOVER: Won the Class 7A 60-meter hurdles with a winning time of 7.67 seconds. She finished third in the prelims with a 7.75 time. Baker’s Myla Reed has the best qualifying time (7.66 seconds). She slipped and fell coming out of the blocks in the finals, got up and finished the race but did not finish in the points.
KENNEDY MORELAND, VESTAVIA HILLS: Cleared 11 feet, 6 inches to capture the gold in the Class 7A pole vault. Her personal best of the season was 12 feet – which she tried and missed after clearing 11-06.
RILEY ZEANAH, VESTAVIA HILLS: The sophomore cruised to the 800-meter run championship with a strong 2:15.49 time. The top seven runners finished just four seconds apart. McKenzie Blackledge of Hoover was second at 2:15.53.
AKASHA DUDLEY, THOMPSON: Came into the meet with a top throw of just over 42 feet. On Saturday, the junior won the Class 7A event with a toss of 40 feet, nine inches.
ABBY MERNER, AUBURN: Ran a personal best 11:07.11 to win the 7A 3,200 meters race.
HOOVER 4X200 RELAY: The Bucs, who set the indoor state meet record last year with a 1:39.36 time, were dominant from start to finish clocking 1:42.83 seconds to take first place. Enterprise took second place with a 1:46.12 time.
CLASS 4A/5A GIRLS
CAROLINE SANDERS, SCOTTSBORO: Won the Class 4A/5A indoor long jump with a winning leap of 19 feet, 3¾ inches. The distance not only set a new 4A/5A state record but also tied the CrossPlex record set by Saraland’s Morgan Davis during the regular season last year. The leap also erased one of the longest standing state-meet records (18 feet, 9 inches). Laquinta Aaron of Northridge set the mark in 2004. Sanders set the record on her third and final jump.
Sanders also delivered a personal best leap of 36 feet, 11¾ inches to win the Class 4A/5A triple jump for the Lady Wildcats. The senior beat her previous best leap by almost eight inches.
MARY HAYES JOHNSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Won the girls’ 4A/5A 400-meter dash with a time of 58.11 The senior edged out another senior, Deja Hines of American Christian, who crossed the finish line at 58.77 seconds.
MORGAN THRIFT, ELBERTA: The senior from Elberta High School had her personal best throw, 36 feet, 4 inches, to win the Class 4A/5A shot put competition. Runner-up Cesleigh Martin of Guntersville also had a personal best (35-10.50) to capture second place.
ANNA PIERCE, WHITESBURG CHRISTIAN: The senior won the 3,200 meters with a personal best 11:13.68 time.
CLASS 7A BOYS
BRADLEY FRANKLIN, THOMPSON: The senior, who came in with a qualifying time of 7.65 seconds in the regular season, sped the 60-meter hurdles prelim race in 7.68 seconds to break the AHSAA Class 7A indoor state meet record (7.81) set by another Thompson runner, Emmanuel Tait, at the 2016 state meet. Franklin then broke his own record in the finals, winning the race with a 7.62 time. The overall state record (7.49) was established by Trey Cunningham of Winfield in a regular season meet at the CrossPlex in 2017.
Two other seniors, Hoover’s Denver Cash (7.95) and James Clemens’ Benjamin Thomason (8.12), finished 2-3 in the prelim with both establishing personal bests. Cash followed up with second-place finish and a new personal best (7.88).
COLLIN PATE, HOOVER: The Bucs’ senior pole vaulter cleared 16 feet, 2 inches in one of the most exciting events of the meet. With virtually everyone watching, he cleared 16 feet, then 16-02 but missed on his three tries at 16-06 to break the 7A state record. Sean Collins of McGill-Toolen Catholic set the 7A mark (16-4 ¾) at the 2015 indoor state meet.
BRADLEY SHAW, HOOVER: The senior football standout won the 7A shot put title Saturday with a winning throw of 51-04. Just four days earlier, Shaw was recognized at the ASWA Mr. Football Awards luncheon in Montgomery as the Class 7A lineman of the year.
PATRICK SWEENEY, AUBURN: Threw the shot put 24 feet, 3 ¾ inches to take the gold in the Class 7A ambulatory shot put division. He also clocked 9.33 seconds in the ambulatory 60-meter dash.
ANDREW PURCELL, ENTERPRISE: The junior won the first event of the day by clearing the high jump bar at 6 feet, 6 inches. He moved the bar past his personal best 6-08 and tried clearing at 6 feet, 9½ inches – which would have been a new Class 6A indoor state record. He had three closes misses, however. The 7A state indoor meet mark (6-9¼) was set in 2023 by Auburn’s T.J. Autrey, a senior finished third Saturday with a 6-04 clearance.
MAX ARMSTRONG, VESTAVIA HILLS: Won a very close 800-meter race with a winning time of 1:54.54. The top four runners finished under 1:56. He also took second place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.08.
LUKE ALVERSON, JAMES CLEMENS: The junior clocked a strong 4:16.10 to in the Class 7A 1,600 meters race. It was the best boys’ time of any classification at the 2024 Indoor State Championships. He followed up with a 9:23.78 time to capture the Class 7A 3,200 meters race as well.
DALLAS BECK, HOOVER: The senior ran a personal best 48.64 time to win the Class 7A 400-meter dash. Smiths Station senior Brody Hamilton also had a personal best time of 49.81 to take third place.
DAVIAN JONES, OPELIKA: Had a top leap of 47-09 to win the Class 7A triple jump competition. His winning distance ranks sixth in the nation, according to Xpress Timing.
CLASS 4A/5A BOYS
ARTHUR LANGLEY, JOHN CARROLL CATHOLIC: The senior runner set a new Class 4A/5A state meet record in the 1,600 meters with a winning time of 4:18.6. Munford’s Dakota Frank, also broke the previous record with as time of 4:18.8. The previous record (4:21.47) was set by Scottsboro’s Evan Hill in 2023. The top two finishers swapped places in the 3,200-meter run. Frank won with a personal best time of 9:24.40, and Langley was second clocking 9:27.69.
JULIAN FENDERSON, BREWBAKER TECH: The junior from Montgomery ran a personal best 6.91 time in the Class 4A/5A 60-meter dash prelims to have the top qualifying time. His performance in the prelims was the 39th best effort in the nation this season, according to Xpress Timing. He followed that race with a 6.89 time in the 60-meter dash finals to take the gold in that event.
JAVIEN JACKSON, B.T. WASHINGTON: The senior from Tuskegee captured the 4A/5A triple jump with a winning leap of 43 feet, 5 inches beating his closest competitor by a foot.
ELIJAH HALL, B.T. WASHINGTON: Won the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 8 ¼ inches. He and his BTM teammate Javian Jackson actually tied with the winning distance. Jackson reached that distance on his first try and Hall on his third try. Jackson had two fouls during the competition and Hall had none. Together, they earned 18 points for their team.
BRADEN ARY, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Ran the 800 meters in 1:58.24 to capture first place. The race was re-started twice due to runners tripping and falling in the first 30 or 40 yards of the race.
TALAN SMITH, MOODY: Won the ambulatory 400 meters in a strong time of 1:06.67. He also ran the 60-meter dash in 9.22 seconds.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 4X200 RELAY: The BTW relay team was strong from start to finish taking first place in the relay with a winning time 1:232.62. Moody was second with a 1:33.22 time, and Brewbaker Tech finished third thanks to amazing final leg of the race in heat three by Julian Fenderson, who streaked from fourth to first place as the Rams won their heat over Ramsay.
Cover Photo: Vestavia Hills pole vaulter Kennedy Moreland clears 11 feet, 6 inches to win the 7A event. (Dawn Harrison)