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TRM track teams score another first place finish at Thursday’s home meet

By Stephanie Nelson
Publisher

T.R. Miller High School’s track teams earned overall wins Thursday, and now, all eyes are focused on this week’s state sectionals meet in Montgomery.
Some 50 TRM athletes will head travel this Friday and Saturday to compete in the state preliminary races, assistant coach Rob Atkinson said.
“To advance to state, the athlete has to be in the top five in each event,” Atkinson said. “I think we’re going to have a good showing. We’ve got some really good athletes on both our girls and boys teams, but so does others in our region.
“We’re going to have to go in focused and ready to show out,” he said.
In Thursday’s third home meet of the season, TRM girls came in first with 268.5 points, followed by Opp with 80.5 points and J.U. Blacksher with 47 points. W.S. Neal’s girls finished seventh with 26 points.
On the boy’s side, TRM finished first with 300 points, followed by Hillcrest-Evergreen with 66 points and Opp with 64 points. WSN boys finished fifth with 43 points.
Like at the home meets, a showing at the sectional and state levels is “all about the numbers,” Atkinson said.
“It is a numbers game,” he said. “To win, you have to rack up as many points possible. At Miller, we’re lucky in that we have the number of athletes to put points up on the board.
“We try to have at least three athletes in each event,” he said. “It’s great if an athlete comes in first. That’s a great personal goal. For the team, we need athletes who come in second, third and fourth because you’ve earned more points than if you only had a first place win,” he said.
Currently, some 70 students participate on the school’s track team in some 18 events. Of those, Atkinson estimates 40 will continue onto the state meet, which is set for May 1 and 2 in Cullman.
TRM girl standouts Thursday included:
• Makayla Harrison, senior: Described as a top hurdler in the state and designated as a “national elite” athlete, Harrison won at Thursday’s meet with a 15.44 in the 100 meter hurdles. She also placed first in the high jump at 5-04 and the triple jump at 34.01.
• Allie Nelson, sophomore: A distance runner, Nelson will show in the 1,600-, 3,200- and 800-meter races.
• Serena Smith, junior: A state discus thrower, Smith will also compete in the shot put competition.
• Akiliah Brazile, sophomore: Described as “one to watch,” Brazile needs to perform well, Atkinson said. She will compete in the javelin, discus and shot put divisions.
• Mekhia Williams, junior: Williams came in second in Thursday’s 100 meter hurdle race with a time of 18:44 and second in the 300 meter hurdles at 52.54.
In the girl’s division, Atkinson said the sectional and state 3A Region 1 competition will be between TRM, Cottage Hill and Montgomery Academy.
“The points are so close with all three, it could go any which way,” Atkinson said. “We have a lot of talent on our girl’s team. We should see some very good things from them in the future.”
TRM boy standouts include:
• Ahmad Taylor, junior: A “top athlete at Miller,” Taylor shined at Thursday’s meet with first place wins in at least seven events including hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump divisions.
• Terry Samuel, senior: Currently ranked second in the state in javelin throwing, Samuel threw 175 feet Thursday. He will compete also as a leg of a 4×4 team and 4×1 team and run in the 200-meter dash. Samuel has signed to play football with the University of West Alabama.
• Trae Walker, senior: Another athlete who needs to perform well, Atkinson said, Walker came in second in the 110 meter hurdles at 17:04. He will also compete in the 300-meter hurdles and as a leg of a 4×1 relay team.
• Bailey Graves, junior: A pole-vaulter, Graves earned a first place win Thursday with a 10-06.
• Trin Miller, senior: Also a pole-vaulter, Miller earned a second place win Thursday with a 10-0.0.
In the boy’s division, Atkinson said predictions for the upcoming competitions put TRM second behind Montgomery Academy and before Hillcrest-Evergreen.
“And those could switch easily,” he said. “That’s why we have to perform. Hillcrest has the fastest runner in the state with Matthew Likely. He’s one of the top runners in the nation. His 100-meter time is 10.42. That’s ridiculously good.”

W.S. Neal girls’ and boys’ track teams came in seventh and fifth respectively at Thursday’s meet at T.R. Miller High School.
Top spot girl athletes include:
• Kelena Floyd, second, 100-meter dash, 12:94; first, 200-meter dash, 27.94; and,
• Breanna Woodcock, senior: javelin, fifth, 66-01.
Top spot boy atheletes include:
• Quenton Samuel, junior: first, 200 meter dash, 23.04;
• Kody Kaufman, senior; third, 400 meter dash, 53.74; fourth, javelin, 129-05; fourth, long jump, 20-05; and,
• Tre English, junior: fourth, discus, 98-11; seventh, javelin, 99-01.