Record-setting day for Walker's Harris
by Johnathan Bentley
May 01, 2012 | 1878 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walker’s Andrew Harris runs the opening leg of the 4x400 relay during the Class 5A, Section 4 Meet at the University of Alabama last week. Walker won the relay event and Harris set a total of four meet records. The Vikings took second at the sectional and will compete in the state meet this weekend at Gulf Shores.
Walker’s Andrew Harris runs the opening leg of the 4x400 relay during the Class 5A, Section 4 Meet at the University of Alabama last week. Walker won the relay event and Harris set a total of four meet records. The Vikings took second at the sectional and will compete in the state meet this weekend at Gulf Shores.
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Walker’s Andrew Harris had a memorable day on his future home track over the weekend in Tuscaloosa.

The Alabama signee was part of four sectional meet records in the Class 5A, Section 4 track meet at the University of Alabama.

Harris won the 800-meter run as well as the 1600m and was part of both the 4x400m and 4x800m relay teams that took home first-place finishes.

Harris and his teammates now set their sights on the 5A state meet set for Friday and Saturday at Gulf Shores. The top five finishers in each category qualified for the state meet.

Harris wasn’t the only bright spot for Walker at the sectional. Hunter Hawkins won the 400m, took second in the 800m and was the final leg of both relay teams.

As a team, Walker placed second with 90 points. Central-Tuscaloosa won the event with 130.5 points.

Before the season started, Walker’s relay foursome of Harris, Bradford Lepik, Jeb Cowen and Hawkins wanted to break the state mark in the 4x800 relay. The record has stood for 24 years.

“The thing they wanted to do is set the 4x800 state record. I think they can do it if all four focus and run their best,” Walker coach Mark Aldridge. “That record has stood for 24 years. I told them that many folks have tried to break that record since then and they have failed. If they do their best, they will walk away smiling. It would be the icing on the cake for them.”

At the sectional, Walker won the 4x800 with a sectional-record time of 8:10.47 — 31 seconds ahead of the second-place team. The Vikings also finished 1-2-3 in the 800m. Harris won with a time of 156.11 — a sectional meet record — followed by Hawkins at 158.98 and Lepik at 159.34.

All three turned around in short order and competed in the 4x400, coming in first with a time of 3:24.21, four seconds ahead of the second-place team. Walker’s time was another meet record.

Harris picked up Walker’s fourth meet record of the day with a time of 4:35.56 in the 1600m. Harris won the event by 11 seconds.

Hawkins won the 400 with a time of 50.54 while Cowen placed sixth with a time of 52.25.

“These four guys are rare athletes. They’ve got tremendous work ethic,” Aldridge said. “They don’t want to let each other down. When someone tells them they can’t do something, it pushes them. People were saying they may win the 4x800 at the sectional, but that they wouldn’t win the 4x400. They won it going away.”

Walker’s success wasn’t limited to track events.

Austin Elliott took home first in the long jump with a total of 21 feet, 8.25 inches. He also placed second in the triple jump with a total of 41 feet, 4.5 inches. Austin Mansell took fourth in the javelin with a total of 141 feet.

Walker’s girls took home sixth place in the sectional.

The Vikings’ 4x800 relay team of Amanda Cuomo, Ashton Hanks, Mary Kate Harrell and Caitlyn Muncher took second with a time of 11:10.

Three Walker girls placed in the top five in the 3200m. Muncher took third at 13:28.07 followed by Katherine Glass in fourth at 14:07.67 and Sara Nicholson in fifth at 14:30.66.

In the 1600m, Muncher took third with a time of 6:09.24 while Harrell placed fourth at 6:13.26.

The 4x400 team of Heidi Keller, Haylee Runyan, Hanks and Shannie Johnson finished fifth with a time of 4:26.

Curry’s girls finished in 10th with 18 points.

Sharla Keeton led the way for the Lady Jackets, winning the javelin with a toss of 91 feet, 2 inches.

Lindsey Johnson finished fourth in the javelin with a total of 80 feet, 6 inches.

Carbon Hill’s girls placed 10th in the Class 3A, Section 4 meet at Winfield.

The Lady Bulldogs were led by Kristy Smith, who finished second in the long jump. Carbon Hill’s 4x100 relay team also placed second and Jasmine Bradley was fifth in the 200m.

Winston County’s girls took fourth in the Winfield sectional.

Kayla Pruitt finished in the top three in four different events. She was first in the high jump, second in the discus, third in the shot put and third in the javelin. Teammate Meredith Daniel was first in the long jump, first in the 100m hurdles, third in the high jump and fourth in the triple jump.