Baker looks for one final state track title

Published 9:21 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2005

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Hollywood probably would have chosen last year or the year before as the swan song for T.R. Miller High School track coach Alan Baker. After all, what better way to head into retirement than a state championship.
Of course, the opportunity is there for the Tigers to send Baker out this season with a "Three-Peat" of state championships.
The Tigers head into this season with some big shoes to fill with the departure of state champion long jumper Skylar Fountain and the uncertainty surrounding junior Antonio Gomez.
Gomez not only won the 110 meter high hurdles state title last year, but set a state record in the process. Gomez also won the state title in the triple jump, took second (to Fountain) in the long jump and fourth in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles. Gomez suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament last fall during the football season and has just now started workouts.
The Tigers will have to get a lot to get a lot of production from some inexperienced areas. One of those areas is in the throws.
See TRACK Page 9A
inexperienced," Baker said.
In the jumps (high, long and triple), Damien Jackson has the most experience especially if Antonio Gomez is unable to perform.
Junior Chris Byrd is the top returning performer for the pole vault.
Lucas, Byrd, Hildreth, sophomore Jeremy Curry and junior Julius Harris will back up Walker and Damien Jackson in the javelin.
On the track, junior Javaris Drakeford should be the Tigers' top short sprinter headed intot he season.
Senior Rodney Lane won the state championship in the 400 meters two years ago, but was injure din the sectional meet last year and did not get a chance to defend his title.
Middle distance will be paced by Byrd. Lucas, senior James McCracken, sophomore Kelly Stallworth, junior David Mathieu and junior Michael Hunt will also get a lot of work in the 800 meters and the 800 leg in the 3200 meter relay.
Hunt figures to anchor T.R. Miller's distance game.
In the hurdles, junior Jason McCreary was third in the 55 meter high hurdles at the state indoor meet.
Meanwhile the Lady Tigers are coming off a third place finish from a year ago.
T.R. Miller has just six girls out this spring although two of those should be very formidable with juniors Jasmine Sanford and Joy McCorvey.
Sanford broke her own state record en route to the state triple jump title last year. McCorvey posted runner-up state marks in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. Both Sanford and McCorvey were members of a state championship 1600 meter relay team.
The other four members did not compete with the Lady Tigers last season.
Sophomore Chalatia Hayes is slated for short sprints, junior Lori Hill and sophomore Chelsea Fox are targeted for middle distance and freshman Kaitlin Byron will compete in middle and long distance.
T.R. Miller Track Schedule
Mar. 11 TRM Relays
Mar. 22 Central of Allentown Away 3 p.m.
Mar. 24 Home 3:30 p.m.
Apr. 1 Challenge of Champions at Mobile 3 p.m.
Apr. 7 Central of Allentown Away 3 p.m.
Apr. 14 Home 3:30 p.m.
Apr. 21 Home 3:30 p.m.
Apr. 28 Sectional Home
May 6-7 State Meet at Tuscaloosa#