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Track Tigers bid to "three-peat" faces uphill battle after day one

By Staff
T.R. Miller's bid to win a third straight Class 3A outdoor state track championship faced a huge uphill battle after the first day of competition at Paul Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa Friday.
Out of six events that had been finished, the Tigers found themselves in 12th place with seven points. Leeds had opened up a sizeable advantage over the rest of the field with 44 1/2 points, a little more than double the 22 points second place holder Winston County had.
One of the 11 teams ahead of the Tigers was W.S. Neal. The Blue Eagles ended day one in fifth place with 16 points.
Ten of W.S. Neal's points came Joe Bailey won the discus with a throw of 134-3.
The Blue Eagles got four points from Ray Dunn's fifth place effort in the 3200 meters with a time of 11:02.06 and two points from Jonathan Alexander's seventh place leap in the triple jump at 41-2.
Dunn was one spot shy of scoring in the 800 meters, as he was ninth at 2:10.01. Cecil Thomas was 10th in the triple jump at 38-5 /2.
T.R. Miller got a pair of points from Michael Hunt's seventh place time in the 3200 meters at 11:44.29 and Damien Jackson's seventh place leap in the high jump at 5-10. The Tigers got one point from three eighth place marks. Chris Byrd cleared 10-0 in the pole vault, Julius Harris had a throw of 110-6 in the discus and Jackson went 40-6 1/2 in the triple jump.
The Tigers were able to send several places on to Saturday's final day of competition.
Rodney Lane was fifth in the 200 meter dash preliminaries at 23.27 and second in the 400 meter dash at 51.15. James Hildreth also advanced to the finals in the 400 meters with a fifth place preliminary time of 52.06. Briddell Jones advanced in the 110 meter high hurdles at 17.22 and Antonio Gomez was eighth at 17.3. Gerald Banton led three Tigers who advanced in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles with a fourth place time of 42.69. Briddell Jones was fifth at 43.54 and Antonio Gomez was sixth at 44.48.
T.R. Miller's 400 meter relay team also advanced to the Saturday's finals with a fourth place prelim time of 44.51,
Other T.R. Miller entries which either failed to advance to the finals or did not score Friday included Marcus Jones, who was 16th in the 400 meters at 57.54. Jason McCreary fell one spot shy of qualifying in the 110 meter high hurdles, as he was ninth at 17.63. Antonio Gomez was 12th in the high jump at 5-8. Banton was 11th in the triple jump at 38-3 1/2. Justin Gomez was ninth in the discus at 107-08.
The Blue Eagles' 400 meter relay team grabbed the last qualifying position with an eighth place time of 45.47.
Other W.S. Neal entries which failed to advance to the finals included Mario Daniel and Alexander in the 100 meter dash. Daniel was 11th in the preliminaries at 11.8 and Alexander was 13th at 12.1.
Neither T.R. Miller or W.S. Neal scored on day one of the girls competition.
T.R. Miller's Joy McCorvey advanced to the finals in the 100 meter dash where she was third at 12.86, the 200 meter dash where she was second at 26.3 and the 400 meter dash where she had the top time overall at 1:00.66.
McCorvey failed to advance in the long jump where she was 14th at 12-4 1/2. Rebecca Scott finished 15th in the 100 meter dash at 14.14.
W.S. Neal's Brittani Moton was 14th in the discus with a throw of 74-3 and 14th in the shot put at 20-11. Jolesia Likely was 13th in the long jump at 13-2 1/2. Jamica Thomas was 12th in the 300 meter low hurdles at 56.22.