Brindlee Mountain track coach Evan Lemons was at once proud of his athletes and yet highly agitated at the outcome of the Class 3A state meet at Cullman this past weekend.
“To say we had a ‘miserable meet’ is an understatement,” he said. “Stars did not align and anything and everything that could have gone wrong did.”
Lemons was bemoaning some unfortunate luck that hurt some of his athletes, but he was mostly frustrated at how the meet was run. Because the AHSAA decided to speed up the events, that left a lot of athletes scrambling to stay on schedule.
“Being a small school we have athletes who qualified in multiple events,” Lemons said. “When the AHSAA decided to speed up the state meet and do everything as fast as possible, it took away from what all the kids in the state were truly capable of.”
One who “took the biggest hit from this” was one of Brindlee Mountain’s top female athletes, in any sport, Chantzley Kirkland.
“She was forced to leave high jump, which had just started, to run the 400-meter run,” Lemons said. “When she got back, the bar was over 5 feet. These two events were scheduled to be three hours apart but were forced to be done at the same time.”
The Lions also had some bad injury luck. Senior Logan Lemons nearly missed the 400m altogether due to the schedule being three hours ahead of time. He was injured during warmups.
“While I feel a lot of kids were robbed of doing their best on the biggest stage, I’m proud of the ones who left it all on the track,” Lemons said. “I have coached these seniors for five years and they have really set the standard for what we try to do here at Brindlee Mountain.
“They train their hardest, they compete at their best and they care about one another as a family. Any coach would be happy to have a group of leaders like mine.”
The boys finished 11th overall as a team out of 38 teams.
The top performer was Devon Meadows, who finish second in the high jump.
Other top finishes for the boys:
• Logan Lemons: 6th place in the 400m (school record); 12th place in 300m hurdles; 15th in 200m;
Garrett Owens: 19th in javelin;
Lucas Edmonds: 19th in discus;
Markel Rue: 16th in long jump; 17th in 200m; 17th in 100m;
David Costley: 18th in 3,200m; 20th in 1,600m.
For the Lady Lions, the top performer was Maddie Hyatt, who finished 8th in the high jump.
Other top finishes for the girls:
• Serena Clemons: 19th in javelin;
• Kirkland: 13th in high jump; 13th in 300m hurdles; 18th in 400m; 21st in 200m;
• Abbey Mooneyham: 18th in 300m hurdles;
• Jasmine Avelar: 14th in high jump;
• Savanna Avelar: 20th in 400m;
• Vanna Tarbox: 17th in 100m hurdles.
The 4x400m relay team of Savana Avelar, Jasmine Avelar, Kailyn Childress and Mooneyham finished 10th.
The 4x800m team of Savanna and Jasmine Avelar, Childress and Mooneyham finished 11th.