FORT PAYNE – For the fourth consecutive year, the Fort Payne Lady Wildcats’ track and field team won their Sectional Meet and are headed to the AHSAA Class 6A State Meet in Gulf Shores this weekend.
The Lady ‘Cats’ first-place finish was more than 60 points ahead of Class 6A’s second-place team Muscle Shoals.
Fort Payne had 14 girls who qualified for the State Meet.
Senior Collyn Davis led the way for the Lady ‘Cats and was named the Class 6A Sectional Girls MVP for her performance.
She won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:24 and placed third in the 400-meter dash in just over a minute.
Davis was also on the 4x400 and 4x800-meter relay teams who both finished first in their events.
Davis, Maggie Groat, Madi Wallace and Ariyana Neal won the 4x400-meter relay in 4:09 and beat the field by 13 seconds.
Davis and Maggie Groat also teamed up with Maddie Jackson and Gracie Groat to win the 4x800-meter relay in 10:21 which was 23 seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Jackson also finished second in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. She finished the 1,600-meter run in 5:32 and the 3,200-meter run in 12:18.
Fellow seventh grader Mollie Sanderson was right behind Jackson in both events.
Sanderson was fourth in the 1,600-meter run just five seconds behind Jackson. She also placed third in the 3,200-meter run finishing just one second behind Jackson.
Along with her relay victories, Maggie Groat placed third in the high jump with a leap of four feet, 10 inches and finished fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:03.
Madi Wallace was a second behind Maggie Groat in the 400-meter dash and placed sixth in the event. Wallace was also fourth with a time of 47.24 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles.
Ariyana Neal finished second in the 100-meter hurdles in 16.44 seconds and was two seconds behind Wallace in the 300-meter hurdles where she finished sixth.
Abigail Johnston finished third in the pole vault with a nine-foot jump. She also placed third in the triple jump with a leap of 33 feet, two inches.
Gracie Groat finished third in the 800-meter run in 2:31 and sixth in the 3,200-meter run in 12:39.
Maggie Crow was fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:33 and was fifth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 5:46.
Bailey Barnes finished second in the javelin with a throw of 96 feet, three inches.
Ashley Morales was fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 32 feet, 10 inches and was also sixth in the 100-meter hurdles in 18.20 seconds.
Makirah Hall and Lexi Cottrell both finished in the top five in the shot put.
Hall placed second with a throw of 34 feet, one inch and Cottrell’s throw of 30 feet, six inches earned her fifth place.
Anabel Craig was fifth in the high jump with a leap of four feet, eight inches and rounded the group of 14 Lady Wildcats who qualified for the State Meet.
The boys’ team had four qualifiers who will join the girls in Gulf Shores this weekend.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Wanya King, Will Crow, Reece Weaver and Matthew Shaddix finished fourth in 3:33 which is six seconds faster than their previous best time this season. The team finished just four seconds behind the winning team of the event from Athens.
Shaddix also qualified as a hurdles in two more events. He finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.81 seconds and also finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles in 42.56 seconds.
All 18 athletes will head to Gulf Shores to compete for a state championship. The State Meet begins Thursday morning and wraps up on Saturday afternoon at the Gulf Shores City Municipal Track.