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April 28, 2013

PREP TRACK & FIELD: Cold Springs girls win section title, 5 other local teams finish as runners-up

The Times' coverage area will be extremely well-represented at next week's state track and field meets after strong sectional showings across the region on Friday and Saturday.

The top-five finishers in each individual event and relay race, as well as four wild cards from around the state, earned coveted spots at their respective state competitions. The Class 1A-3A State Championship will be held in Selma, while local 4A-6A squads will travel to Gulf Shores. Both meets will be this Friday and Saturday.

Cold Springs' girls were the only local team to head back home with a sectional title, though five others — Vinemont's boys, Holly Pond's girls, Addison's boys and girls, and Cold Springs' boys — returned as runners-up.

Cold Springs' girls were in a world of their own, dominating the 2A, Section 3 meet with 10 individual-event victories and two relay wins to finish more than 100 points ahead of second-place Tanner.

Cassi Still (800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs) and Dakota Lott (100- and 300-meter hurdles, as well as triple jump) both pulled triple duty, while Katie Self (discus), Courtney Dean (pole vault), Josie Stanley (400-meter dash) and Christian Wilson (high jump) all roped in one title apiece.

Katie Huffstutler, Lott, Kaleigh Merring and Stanley teamed up for first in the 4x400-meter relay, as did Emily Campbell, Huffstutler, Stanley and Still in the 4x800-meter relay.

Cullman County co-MVPs Tyler Boland and T.J. Steele, both from Vinemont, were in top form with state berths on the line. Boland leapt to first in the triple jump and long jump, while Steele beat the field to the line in the 800-meter run. Teammate Hayden Shutt earned a section championship in the pole vault.

Holly Pond's rising girls' program continued its successful season with individual wins from Mykenzie Heaton (long jump) and Melissa Clingman (100-meter hurdles). The pair combined with fellow speedsters Megan Barksdale and Starsha Trimble to snag a victory in the 4x100-meter relay.

Addison's top thrower Ronnie Willette was the boy to beat in the shot put. Teammate Jesse Seales sailed to No. 1 in the high jump.

The Lady Bulldogs were led by a win each from Jessica Taylor (javelin) and Summer Hinton (high jump).

Rounding out the extensive list of runners-up was Cold Springs' boys, who received a victory from pole-vault extraordinaire Logan Campbell.

Cullman senior Mark Gomez is looking to go out with a bang following first-place results in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Fellow Bearcat Garrison Hill walked away with a championship in the pole vault.

St. Bernard's Will Faulk is primed and ready to defend his state titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs after winning the sectional crowns in the first two events. Despite suffering through a painful injury in the 3,200-meter race, he still had the will and the smarts to slow down and do just enough to qualify with a fifth-place finish.

Lady Saint Logan Ayers was untouchable in the 800-meter run. She also teamed up with Jaden Edge, Ayleana Mami and Morgan Matz for first in 4x800-meter relay.

Vinemont's girls picked up a pair of victories, one by Alex Pettus (discus) and the other by Taylor Randall (javelin).

Hanceville's Sheldon Lewis crushed the competition in the shot put and discus.

Holly Pond's Chris Whitehead was an easy winner in the javelin, while Erica Laidley was the proud owner of a section title in the high jump.

See full results for qualifying individuals and relay teams from every school in The Times' coverage area below:

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