NSAF On-Site at AHSAA Alabama State Indoor Champs: Preview

by Steve Underwood

The AHSAA Indoor State Championships is being held for the 4th year at the Birmingham Crossplex, where the event resumed after a 3-year hiatus and moving from another facility.  NOTE: For the 1st time, competition is taking place in seven divisions (1A through 7A) compared to the previous six.  Last year, there were six boys and girls titles awarded in 1A-4A, 5A and 6A.  Now there are eight titles awarded in 1A-3A, 4A-5A 6A and 7A.

AHSAA Indoor Track Pages | LIVE Streaming (NFHS, Saturday only) | LIVE RESULTS (XPressTiming.com)
Heat Sheets -- Friday: (Field | Running) -- Saturday: (Field | Running)
Tim Loreman's coverage at Alabama Runners (al.milesplit.com)

BIG SIX: Leading national class headliners

Jayla Kirkland
  • US#1 7.46 60m dash, AL#2 57.34 400m dash – Woodlawn, 2017, 6A
  • Defending champ at both 60 and 400 (4A-6A last year) and will be favored to sweep again … that 60 win was a breakout for her as she beat Caitland Smith and went under 7.50 for the first time … won NBNI freshman 60 last March, then was 3rd in championship 200, 5th in 100 at NBNO … had big win at 60 last weekend (Last Chance meet) over NBNO 100 champ Candace Hill from Georgia.
Deante Tolbert
  • US#2/AL#1 48.02 400m dash, US#6/AL#1 6.85 60 – Auburn, 2017, 7A
  • His 48.02 PR from last weekend was a dramatic 1.20-second improvement that really thrust him on the national scene … had run 6.91 for 60 back in December, then improved that last week as well to 6.85 … also a key for Auburn’s 4x200 and 4x400 hopes … as a frosh, he ran 7.18/50.18 indoors and 10.82/21.81/49.62 outdoors (nwi for 100/200).
Amaris Tyynismaa
  • US#2/AL#1 10:37.10 3,200m run, AL#1 5:00.18 1,600, AL#3 2:18.90 800 – Catholic-Montgomery, 2019, 4A-5A
  • One of the nation’s top young distance prodigies, this 8th-grader was unbeaten in XC en route to a 4A state title and a 1:45 improvement down to 16:57 (Foot Locker South 13-14 year-old race) … has top seed by large margins in 4A-5A 800, 1,600 and 3,200.
Margaret Ollinger
  • US#7/AL#1 13-2.25 pole vault – McGill-Toolen Catholic, 2016, 7A
  • 4-time state champ (2 in, 2 out) is (along with teammate Sean Collins) the latest in a long line of great vaulters from McGill-Toolen … the 13-2.25 came last weekend, beating her overall in/out PR from outdoor 2014 … she’s the state’s overall best vaulter by more than two feet.
Sean Collins
  • US#7/AL#1 16-5.5 pole vault – McGill-Toolen Catholic, 2015, 7A
  • Came into 2015 with a 16-2 PR from outdoor and raised it twice in January – the 16-6.5 coming at Last Chance … defending indoor and outdoor state champ … hasn’t lost to any Alabama vaulters in more than a year and has 18.5 inches on the rest of the state.
Brittley Humphrey
  • US#11/AL#1 8.73 60m hurdles – Hoover, 2016, 7A
  • A 6-time state champ in the hurdles (combined indoor and 100H/300H outdoors), she’s favored again at 60H in 7A … looking to get back to her form of last March when she hit PR of 8.43 in taking 3rd at NBNI and was part of winning 4x55 shuttle hurdle relay team … also seeded 2nd in 400 and 8th in 60 dash in 7A.


Team Battles

  • 7A: Hoover, which took 6A in 2013 and '14 when it was the largest class, probably has to be the favorite here. But they should be pushed by the growing strength of Auburn, which has beaten Hoover twice in scored meets during the season.
  • 6A: Homewood, which won 5A the past two years, now will be favored to take 6A. They have scored well against the bigger schools multiple times. But so has Opelika, which could fight Homewood to the finish.
  • 4A-5A: UMS-Wright, which won 1A-4A the past three years, looks to have the horses to successfully move up to the new 4A-5A. St. Paul's Episcopal, 5A runner-up last year, could be the top challenger.
  • 1A-3A: With UMS-Wright moving up, schools in the state's three smallest classes have new opportunities. Winfield City might be in the best position to pull it off.
  • 7A: Powerful Hoover, which won 6A the past two years when it was the largest class, should prevail in 7A here. They've taken 4 of the 5 scored meets this year and, to take one example, are seeded 1st in all three relays. James Clemens, Mountain Brook, Auburn, Huntsville and McGill-Toolen Catholic will also rack up points.
  • 6A: Homewood, which finished 2nd to St. Paul's Episcopal in 5A the past few years, no longer has the smaller school to deal with. Opelika and Northridge are two likely contenders.
  • 4A-5A: UMS-Wright swept 1A-4A from 2012 through 2014. Now they'll face some biggers schools in 4A-5A. St. Paul's Episcopal -- 2nd in 5A in '14 and the 2012 champs -- will likely be the team to beat.
  • 1A-3A: UMS-Wright won what used to be the smallest class, 1A-4A, each of the past three years. But with Wright moving up to 4A-5A, a first-time champ should claim 1A-3A. Teams that might have a shot include 2014 1A-4A runner up Montgomery Academy, American Christian, Bayside Academy, Piedmont, Altamont and Cottage Hill


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