Arab high jumper is state champion

Arab’s Devin Gronewold took first place in the state in the high jump.

Devin Gronewold soared a school-record 6 ft., 6 inches to take first place in the high jump and lead the Arab boys to a seventh-place finish in the Class 4A-5A State Indoor Meet at the Birmingham CrossPlex this past weekend.

The girls team, beset by injuries to several key athletes, didn’t fare as well but still had some competitive performances, including a runner-up finish by Hallie Grace Williamson in the pole vault.

“The boys team had a pretty strong showing coming out and getting seventh place,” said first-year indoor coach Waid Harbison. “A lot of our boys have worked really hard and improved a lot during indoor season, so we didn’t think going in we would be as high on the boys side as we finished.”

The boys team, like the girls squad, was held back by injuries.

“We also had several boys who would have been point scorers out for the season due to injuries, but we will fortunately be getting them all back for outdoor season,” Harbison said.

Other top performers for the Knights included Mitchell Duquette, who finished fourth in the pole vault; Hunter Gronczniac, who finished fifth in the triple jump; and Zach Turnage, who placed sixth in the 60-meter hurdles.

In addition to Williamson’s top two finish, Hope Hill finished sixth in the high jump. Also, breaking a school record in the 60-meter dash was Aleigh Hawkins with a time of 8.63 seconds.

“Our girls team frankly had a shot of being a contender for a state championship or runner-up, but with almost five of our point scorers out due to injury, we definitely didn’t have as good of a finish as we hopes,” Harbison said.

“We will definitely be getting all of our injured girls back as well, and it looks like heading into outdoor season, our boys and girls teams both are ranked in the top 5 teams, so we should be in the hunt for state championships on both the boys and girls sides for outdoor.

“We are really proud of all the hard work our athletes put in. These guys have seen major improvements from last season to this year, and we are excited to keep working hard and having everyone healthy and ready to go for outdoor season.”

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