There is an old saying about their being strength in numbers.
The Scottsboro girls and boys track and field teams hope that saying is accurate and results in state championship victories this weekend.
Scottsboro has 37 athletes competing in the Class 5A AHSAA Track and Field Championships, which begin today and run through Saturday in Gulf Shores.
Events begin today at 1 p.m. at The Gulf Shores City Municipal Track and resume Friday and Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
Those 37 athletes, many of whom qualified in multiple events, will take part in 15 different girls events and 14 boys events. The Scottsboro girls have 29 athletes entered in 15 total events and the SHS boys have 28 athletes entered in 14 total events.
“We have 37 state qualifiers, one of the biggest groups I can ever remember going (to state). We usually only take one bus. This time, we’re having to take two,” said Scottsboro head coach Luke Robinson.
“The numbers are there. The difference will be made in the six to 10 or 11 spots. Who will sneak up there and grab some points (when not seeded to)?”
Scottsboro and Ramsay are considered the top contenders for the Class 5A team titles. Scottsboro finished second in the Class 5A boys state last season after winning the title in 2017. The SHS girls finished fourth at state a year ago.
Both Scottsboro teams were convincing winners at during last weekend’s Class 5A Section 4 Meet.
Meanwhile, the SHS boys team has a little extra motivation as they try to complete “The Triple Crown,” which is winning the cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field state championships in the same school year.
“They’ve mentioned it and they see it as motivation,” Robinson said. “They don’t see it as (added pressure). They just don’t seem to feel (pressure). They enjoy the competition and they’ve always been up to the challenge.”
The state tournament’s unorthodox schedule is always something Scottsboro athletes to overcome. It’s their first three-day meet of the season.
“Maintaining your focus and doing all the little things right become that more important,” Robinson said, “especially if you’re one of the athletes that competes (today) and don’t have another event until Saturday. You’ve got to make sure you’re eating right, getting enough sleep and staying out the sun. All the little things matter for a three-day meet.”