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McKenzie Hogue captures state title in 3,200 meter race

It was her legs and heart that willed Thompson High’s McKenzie Hogue to victory in the Class 7A 3,200 meter race at AHSAA Indoor State Track and Field Championship on Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Her brain also played a key role.

“McKenzie ran a smart race and it worked out perfect in the end,” said Thompson track and field coach Chris Schmidt.

Before the race began, Schmidt said they knew it would be a fast race with Hogue, McGill-Toolen’s Grace Jensen and Auburn’s Samantha Rogers setting the pace. They also knew that it would be close at the end.

With 400 meters to go, Rogers made the move to separate herself from the pack. Hogue followed along.

“McKenzie went with her, we knew she had a shot to win,” Schmidt said.

She certainly did. It was Hogue who won the sprint at the end, finishing in a time of 10:59.46. Rogers (11:01.30) was second and Jensen (11:14.92) was third.

“Winning the 3200 has been a goal we have discussed all season,” Schmidt said. “We’re very proud of her and are excited to watch her perform in day two.”

Hogue also ran well in the 800 meters on Friday. She finished fourth in a time of 2:18.83. Hoover’s Sydney Steely won the race in a time of 2:13.93.

Other notable Friday performances by Thompson athletes on the girls side included:

*The girls’ 4x200 relay team finished in ninth place in a time of 1:47.17.

*Ebony Butler placed fourth in the girls’ shot put competition. Her best throw of 36-08.75 came on her first throw.

Notable Friday performances by Thompson athletes on the boys’ side included:

*Jace Jones finished 12th in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:00.92.

*The 4x200 relay team finished second in a time of 1:31.21. Hoover won the race in a time of 1:29.36.

*Phillip Lewis finished fourth in the high jump competition with a top jump of 6-02. Jared Hurst finished seventh at the same height.

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