Local coaches every classification believe Track and Field is growing stronger each season.
“It is very competitive in (Class) 1A this year,” said Woodville coach Bo Harding.
“(Class) 3A is loaded,” said Pisgah coach Gus Hembree.
“Overall this is the most competitive field of 4A athletes that I’ve seen in every event,” said North Jackson coach Joe Hollis.
That evidence of that growth, they say, is not just measured in the depth of talent at the all state meets. The sport is growing locally as the number of their own teams’ state qualifiers increases.
“I’m really excited for our athletes to compete against the best athletes in the state,” Hollis said.
North Jackson competes in the AHSAA’s Class 4A Track and Field Championships today through Saturday in Gulf Shores. Meanwhile, athletes from Woodville, Skyline compete in the Class 1A Championships, while Section and North Sand Mountain compete in the 2A Championships and Pisgah in the 3A Championships. The Class 1A, 2A and 3A state meets will be held at Cullman High School.
Woodville is taking one of its largest contingents in some time to Class 1A state meet, Harding said.
“Our objective is to be the best that we can be this weekend,” Harding said. “Hopefully we can have our personal bests and continue to have the same positive feelings we had from sectionals. It is additional motivation to continue doing the best that you can for success this week as well.”
Hembree said personal record (PRs) is what he’s hoping to see from his athletes.
“This is what we train for every day,” he said. “We had 35 season-best (performances) and one school record in sectionals. We want to improve on that.”
North Jackson is taking both experienced athletes and new state qualifiers to the 4A Championships.
“We have a good mix of inexperience and experience athletes so it’s a great opportunity to learn from those who have been there,” Hollis said. “I’m really excited for our athletes to compete against the best athletes in the state.”