The Thompson High track and field teams continue to do special things on their way to what looks to be a special season.
Last week, the girls team finished in second place in a prestigious and crowded field in the Mountain Brook Invitational. The boys team made also made an impact, finishing eighth, despite missing several key performers.
“Good things are happening, we’re really excited,” said Thompson High track and field head coach Chris Schmidt. “You’re looking at your blue map, your red map, winning the (Sectionals), that Mountain Brook Invitational is probably the next most important one out there. With 81 schools there, our girls were runner-up. That’s pretty impressive.”
We’ll take a closer look at both teams’ progression with the Class 7A Sectionals quickly approaching.
Quality depth has been the mark of the Warriors girls’ team the entire season.
“We have a well-rounded team, that’s the key thing,” said Schmidt, whose team is competing in the Shelby County Championships on Monday.
He used the Mountain Brook Invitational results as an example. Thompson finished third (Zakiria Holifield) and sixth (Alandria McCurdy) in the 100 meters and second (Holifield), fourth (McCurdy) and seventh (London Wooley) in the 200 meters. McKenzie Hogue won the 1,600 meters and finished second in the 800 meters. A pair of relay teams – 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 – sizzled their way to first and second place finishes respectively. The 4 x 400 team finished in a time of 4:00.09.
In the field events, the Warriors captured second place in the triple jump (Niya Oden) and third in the high jump (Wooley). Schmidt said his team’s throwers also had a strong outing, finishing fifth in discus and third and fourth in the shot put.
“It shows you our strengths are just all the way around,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said a good weekend could have been a lot better for the boys team.
“Don’t let Mountain Brook results fool you, I had a lot of guys qualify for the finals but taking the ACT (on Saturday),” Schmidt said. “It really hurt us a lot. We were eighth and I think we would have finished third, to be honest with you.”
One of the highlights was senior Thomas Cousins finishing fifth in the 800 meters in a time of 1:56.69. Jace Jones ran 1:59.82 in the 800 meters and Schmidt said he had three runners run 49 seconds in the 400 meters.
Thrower Viktor Turek also continues to be a strength.
“Vik is consistently over 150 (feet) in the discus,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt added that his throwers – on both sides – have benefited from an addition to the coaching staff.
“Our new throws coach, Courtney Payne, came to me from Scottsboro,” Schmidt said. “She’s just done a heckuva job with our throwers. We don’t have just one good thrower, we have a slew of them, which is huge for us.”