Wildcats break school records, earn podium finishes at state track meet

Fort Payne's girls 4x800-meter relay team of Anahi Barboza, Maddie Jakcson, Gracie Groat and Mollie Sanderson earned silver medals at their state meet and came up one second shy of setting a new school record in the event.

GULF SHORES – The Fort Payne Wildcats’ track and field teams set several school records while battling for a state title at the AHSAA state championship meet this past weekend at Mickey Miller Blackwell Stadium in Gulf Shores.

Fort Payne earned six podium finishes at the meet and the Lady Wildcats finished third overall behind rivals Homewood and Pelham.

Madi Wallace earned silver in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.76 seconds and set a new school record in the event. 

Maggie Groat placed fifth less than a second later. Maggie also set a school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.16 seconds in the preliminaries. She was battling for second place in the finals before hitting and falling over the ninth hurdle.

The Lady Wildcats’ relay teams both earned silver medals. Fort Payne’s 4x400 team of Maddie Jackson, Maggie Groat, Madi Wallace and Logan Neil finished second with a season-best time of 4:10.64, which trailed event winner Calera by seven seconds.

The 4x800 team of Gracie Groat, Mollie Sanderson, Anahi Barboza and Maddie Jackson placed second in 9:44.49 and missed out on setting a new school record by one second.

Rounding out the Lady ‘Cats podium finishes was Isabelle Goggans, who placed third in the javelin with a throw of 119 feet, two inches, which also set a new school record.

On the boys’ side, Matthew Shaddix earned silver in the 300-meter hurdles in 40.12 seconds. He missed out on being crowned a state champion in the event by 0.11 seconds.

Shaddix also placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.54 seconds, which trailed the event’s winner by half a second.

Ben Anderson placed 14th in the 800-meter run in 2:01.93 just five seconds behind the first-place finisher. Anderson also placed 16th in the the 1,600-meter run in 4:42.84.

Nate Crane placed seventh in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 6.5 inches and Shane Freeman finished 19th with a toss of 42 feet, 0.5 inches.

Gracie Groat placed seventh in the 800-meter run in 2:24 79. Sanderson finished ninth and Barboza placed 10th less than two seconds later.

Gracie also placed ninth in the 1,600-meter run in 5:28.47. Barboza was right behind her in 10th and Maddie Jackson placed 13th with a time of 5:38.46.

Barboza placed sixth in the 3,200-meter run in 12:12.93. Aylin Vega finished eight in 12:21.82 and Sanderson placed 13th in 12:45.88.

Maggie Groat finished sixth in the high jump with a leap of five feet and Teshyia Williams placed eighth in the discus with a throw of 106 feet.

Teshyia also placed 12th in the shot put with a throw of 31 feet, 3.5 inches. Mikia Williams placed 15th in the event with a throw of 30 feet, 10.75 inches.

Bailey Barnes placed ninth in the javelin with a throw of 101 feet, seven inches and Bella Weaver placed 23rd in the event with a throw of 83 feet, nine inches.

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