The Scottsboro varsity boys track and field team enjoyed a state-title winning and record-setting weekend at the AHSAA Class 6A Boys Track and Field Championships.
Scottsboro athletes won state championships in five events — three of those wins producing state records — while helping the Wildcats post a Class 6A Boys state runner-up finish last weekend at the Gulf Shores Sports Complex.
Opelika won the 6A title with a team score of 114.50, with Scottsboro finishing second with 72 points. Scottsboro was in front by 18 points with a team score of 55 entering the final day on Saturday, but Opelika scored 78 points on Day 3 to claim the victory.
“We kind of knew where we sat. We threw every dart we had for a bullseye, (but) Opelika just had more darts to throw,” said Scottsboro head coach Luke Robinson. “But there wasn’t anyone of our guys that should be upset with their performance. They all did everything they could. The best thing about all of it, is everyone down there didn’t care about their own individual accomplishments or accolades. they wanted Scottsboro to do well first and foremost.”
Scottsboro senior Cooper Atkins closed his stellar high school career by winning a state championship in all four of his state events. The Auburn commit won state championships in the 1600-meter run (4:08.40) on Thursday — he also won the Class 5A 1600 state title in 2019 — the 3200-meter run (9:01.75) and the 4x800-meter relay (7:45.74) on Friday and the 800-meter run (1:53.47) on Saturday.
Atkins broke the previous state record in the 1600, which had stood since 1987, by more than five seconds. He broke the previous 3200 state record, set in 2005, by nearly nine seconds.
“We all knew he had it in him,” Robinson said. “But he didn’t really care. Every time he broke a record, he’d ask me about where we were in team points. He could’ve broken nine minutes in the 3200, but he saw he was way ahead and he saved some gas for the 4x800 and 800 (races) because he knew we needed the points from those.”
Atkins also teamed up with his twin brother Benson, Hayden Judge and Rex Green on a record-setting run to a state championship in the 4x800. They posted a record time of 7:45.74, which is also the second-fastest time recorded nationwide this season.
“There goal wasn’t to run a 7:45. It was to win,” Robinson said. ““They’ve been a run relay team to watch.”
Sophomore Maddox Hamm won his second pole vault state championship, winning the Class 6A Boys title after winning the 5A Boys title back in 2019. Hamm set a new state record of 17-0.25 in winning the 6A crown.
“Maddox barely missed clearing 17-7, which at the point he was just worn out, had ripped a callous off his hand, because he’d already vaulted a dozen times,” Robinson said. “He came in early around 14-6 because we wanted to make sure we got the points, and after he won, then we’d play. He did great. Project 18 (feet) has begun.”
Overall, Scottsboro had 12 Top-10 finishes in the state meet.
Green finished fourth in the 800 (1:56.07) and sixth in the 1600 (4:20.73) and Evan Hill was fourth in the 3200 (9:20.69) while Benson Atkins was fifth in the 1600 (8:18.98) and sixth in the 3200 (9:27.76).
Scottsboro’s 4x400 relay team of Green, Brody Williams, Ridge Wells and Benson Atkins teamed up for an eighth-place finish (3:31.51).
Jonah Warren finished 11th in the discus (122-9) and 22nd in the shot put (38-7.5) while Devon Walker was 15th (5-10) and JaVaris Branford was 20th (5-8) in the high jump.
Robinson thanked his seniors for a memorable season and memorable careers.
“I’ve told them a lot of times, but I don’t think they realize just how much of an impact they’ve had on our success. The team success always came first with them,” he said. “I’ve really enjoyed coaching them.”
Class 6A Girls — Scottsboro finished 21st in the AHSAA Class 6A Girls Track and Field Championships teams standings with eight points.
Freshman Caroline Sanders had Scottsboro’s best finish, just missing the medal stand with a fourth-place finish in the long jump with personal-record mark of 17 feet, 6 inches. She also finished 10th in the triple jump (33-7) and 16th in the high jump (4-8).
“Caroline Sanders had a great weekend,” Robinson said. “For a freshman to PR by a foot (in the long jump) in the state meet, that shows there’s big things to come.”
Emma Bradford posted a sixth-place finish in the 3200-meter run (11:37.44) and a 14th-place finish in the 1600-meter run (5:33.49) while Ally Campbell was 12th in the 3200 (12:09.58) and 17th in the 1600 (5:38.34) and Mabry Bonsall was 15th in the 3200 (12:21.29).
Tristan Wallingsford finished 12th in the shot put (32-4) while Lauren Paradise was 15th in the long jump (15-2) and 20th in the 200-meter dash (27.54), Amy Roberts was 21st in the discus (74-0) and Smith Bradford was 23rd in the 800-meter run (2:31.20).
Bonsall, Campbell, Smith Bradford and Emma Bradford teamed up for a 10th-place finish in the 4x800-meter relay (10:27.48) while Paradise, Isabelle Flores, Charlsi Henderson and Smith Bradford teamed up for a 15th-place finish in the 4x400 relay (4:21.87).