Lanett girls and boys win sectionals, Price impressed with ‘small’ boys team

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2019

LANETT — The Lanett track and field team returned this year with a smaller and less-experienced bunch after losing seniors like 300-meter hurdle state champion Braylon Harrington last season. Panthers head track and field coach Terrance Price admits that he came into the season with low expectations, but now Lanett has found itself as the boys and girls sectional champions, sending 25 athletes to this weekend’s state championship.

“I’m really proud of both,” Price said on Saturday after the Panthers’ claimed the sectional championships. “The girls are young and super talented, so my expectations for them were high. I’m glad we were able to meet those expectations today. I’m more excited for the boys than anything because I felt like they overachieved being small in number. Most of our boys had to max out and do four events each to muster enough team points to win it, and they did it on a warm day without complaints. Now, they have been rewarded for that.”

The boys and girls teams will participate in the 4×100 relay and the 4×400 relay. The boys will participate in the boys 4×800 relay.

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Eighth-grader Aniya Fisher qualified to compete in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the 4×100. Eighth-grader Ariel Hall, eighth-grader Ameria Zigler-Truitt and eighth-grader Samahria Davidson qualified for the 4×400, the 300-meter hurdles. Davidson will also compete in the 4×100. Freshman Breana Glaze and senior Makaiya Broughton qualified for the high jump. Glaze will also compete in the 4×400 and the open 800-meter. Sophomore Jayla Higgins qualified in the 4×100, the long jump and triple jump.  

Senior Jaci Howell will compete in the 200-meter dash and the javelin.

“Going to state is a mind thing, really,” Howell said. “Me, being a senior and the oldest, [has to] show the younger girls how to step up so they can be ready for next year and know what to expect.”

Senior R’Tianna Oneal is going to lead the field event for the Lanett girls, Price said. Oneal qualified in the discus and shot put. Juniors A’Neilya McFarlin and Shaunna Brown also qualified in the shot put. Sophomore Alysse Madden, who suffered an arm injury earlier in the semester, qualified in the javelin and discus categories.

For the boys, senior Tairrque Baker qualified in the 1600 and 3200-meter runs. This is Baker’s first year on the track and field squad. The 18-year-old has been enlisted into the army for a couple of years now so he said there wasn’t much of an adjustment for him coming into the sport. Price said that he’s always tried to convince Baker to join the team throughout his time in high school, but sensed that Baker felt discouraged by not making the basketball team.

“He’s an athlete, he just wasn’t a basketball player,” Price said before letting out a laugh. “That’s what I tried to tell him. ‘You’re an athlete, you just can’t play basketball, but I’ve got a sport for you! It’s called track!’”

Baker only has one regret in his short track career.

“The biggest thing for me is that I wish that I was doing it all along,” he said. “I’m having so much fun being with my teammates, developing the relationships. I just wished I had done this a little while longer, but it’s fun coming out here competing and competing at the track meets.”

Junior Dametrious Johnson qualified for the 800-meter run. Senior Todricas Askew and freshman D’Quez Madden are competing in the 100-meter dash. Junior Zameron Boozer is competing in the high jump. Senior Tifton “Dee” Dobbs, sophomore Larontavious Hurston and  Boozer qualified for the triple jump.

Lanett heads down this weekend to Gulf Shores for the state championships.