Wildcats clock fast times at state indoor meet

Fort Payne's girls 4x800-meter relay team of Gracie Groat, Maddie Jackson, Mollie Sanderson and Anahi Barboza earned silver in their event with a time of 10:04.31

BIRMINGHAM – Fort Payne’s track and field team earned silver medals in three events and had several strong finishes at the AHSAA State Indoor Track and Field Meet this past weekend at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Fort Payne’s had two hurdlers a one relay team earn podium finishes at the state meet.

Sophomore Madi Wallace was one of those silver medalists after she placed second in the 6A girls 60-meter hurdles finals in 9.58 seconds. That time marks a new school record for the event. She only trailed Homewood senior Makiyah Sills, who clocked an 8.91.

“She has gotten so much better over the past few years,” Fort Payne track coach C.M. Sanford said of Wallace. “She may not be the most athletic one out there, but her work ethic and her drive to keep getting better and faster is what has gotten her to this point.”

Wallace also placed ninth in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet and 1.25 inches.

On the boys’ side, junior hurdler Carter Pinholster earned silver in the 6A boys 60-meter hurdles finals with a second-place time of 8.43 seconds.

Junior classmate Matthew Shaddix narrowly missed out on joining Pinholster on the podium. His time of 8.88 seconds placed fourth, trailing Opelika’s Daniel Kindred by 0.03 seconds.

Fort Payne’s third silver medal came from the girls 4x800-meter relay team. That team of Gracie Groat, Mollie Sanderson, Maddie Jackson and Anahi Barboza placed second with a time of 10:04.31.

Just a week removed from wearing a protective boot for a foot injury, Gracie also placed sixth in the 800-meter run finals in 2:28.31 and 20th in the 400-meter run finals in 1:05.31.

Sanderson finished a second behind Gracie in the 800-meter run in ninth place. She also placed eighth in the 1,600-meter run finals in 5:46.91.

Barboza placed sixth in the 3,200-meter run finals in 12:28.48.

Sophomore teammate Aylin Vega finished less than half a second later in seventh place.

Sophomore Maggie Groat placed fifth in the 60-meter hurdles finals. Her time of 9.77 seconds came 0.11 seconds short of a podium finish.

Junior Ben Anderson placed eighth in the boys 800-meter run finals with a time of 2:02.47. He also placed ninth in the 1,600-meter run in 4:37.58

Gaspar Jiminez finished 29th in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.76.

Sophomore Shane Freeman placed ninth in the shot put with a toss of 42 feet, eight inches.

The Wildcats’ three boys relay teams all placed 10th or better in their races.

The 4x200 team placed 10th in 1:37.73, the 4x400 team placed sixth in 3:44.81 and the 4x800 team finished 10th with a time of 8:53.29.

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