- Cullman, Alabama

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March 8, 2014

CULLMAN INVITATIONAL: Lady Broncos, Vinemont boys lift team titles; locals snag 3 of 4 MVP awards

CULLMAN — It was a Cullman County kind of day at this weekend’s annual Cullman Invitational.

Locals snagged three of the four MVP trophies up for grabs, and a pair of area teams hoisted titles in their respective divisions.

Holly Pond’s Melissa Clingman not only crashed the party in the 100-meter hurdles (18.16), 300-meter hurdles (52.52) and high jump (4’4”) but joined forces with Megan Barksdale, Tess Duke and Mykenzie Heaton for first in the 4x100-meter relay (54.49). The sophomore’s 32.5 points helped her sneak by Decatur Heritage’s Alainnah Chesier and St. Bernard's Logan Ayers — both had 32 — for the small-school girls biggest individual honors.

Heaton — who bested the rest in the 100-meter dash (14.12) and long jump (15’3”) and collected a silver medal in the high jump — was a close fourth.

Throw in Caitlin Haynes’s victory in the discus (73’3.5), and it should come as no surprise the Lady Broncos were small-school champs. They topped Decatur Heritage by 63 points and St. Bernard by 69.

Vinemont’s Kurtis Brawner was a throwing machine with a spattering of speed en route to small-school boys MVP honors. The senior bathed in gold in the shot put (40’.75”) and discus — no one else came within 22 feet of his 115’11” heave — and bronze in the javelin. Brawner capped off his stellar day by combining with Taylor Evans, Orey Woods and Bo Wright for second in the 4x100-meter relay.

St. Bernard’s Steven Mami came up 2.5 points shy of Brawner’s 28-point total.

The Eagles cruised to their second straight Cullman Invitational team championship with a massive 87 points more than Danville.

Nathan Handley (1,600-meter run, 5:12.33), Kyle Weems (110-meter hurdles, 18.81) and Seth Campbell (pole vault, 7’) accompanied Brawner as individual victors for Vinemont.

Fairview’s Caine Robinson couldn’t be stopped in any event with the word “jump” in it, winning the high jump (6’4”), long jump (20’2”) and triple jump (20’2”) to claim the large-school boys top prize. The Aggie edged Grissom’s Anthony Wells 30-28.

Cullman’s girls, led by Olivia Kontogeorge’s first-place launch in the shot put (31’5”) and runner-up spot in the triple jump, landed in second in the large-school girls competition.

Fairview’s Alexus Lindsey (17.64) nosed the Lady Bearcats Savanna Canter by two-hundreths of a second in the 100-meter hurdles, while teammate Emilie Sena had the longest toss in the discus (85’1”).

Per usual, St. Bernard shone in the long-distance running events. Jaden Edge was a two-time gold medalist (800-meter run, 2:37.37 and triple jump, 29’10”). Ayleana Mami (1,600-meter run, 5:56.65) and Ayers (3,200-meter run, 12:48.82) split the one- and two-mile races.

Ayers, Ivy Edge, J. Edge and Mami left the field in the dust in the 4x800-meter relay (10:45.98).

Morgan Lawrence posted the lone victory for Vinemont’s girls in the shot put (27’7.25”).

Mami was the man for St. Bernard, taking the gold for himself in the 3,200-meter run (10:58.66) and silver in the 1,600-meter run. Fellow Saint Will Sciaroni was a winner in the 800-meter run (2:14.84).

Nate Giffin, Marco Tona, Mami and Sciaroni finished in the front of the pack in the 4x800-meter relay (9:27.41).

Cullman’s Garrison Hill went full beast mode for a first-place flight in the pole vault (12’).

Additional top-three results for local athletes are as follows:

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