Cougars dominate at state

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, May 2, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
A week ago, the Escambia Academy JV boys' track and field team brought the AISA state championship to Canoe. The varsity boys' and girls' teams decided to add to the hardware. Both the boys' and girls' teams defeated the field in Selma and took home the first place trophy after the tournament April 25-26.
"This is big for our program," EA head coach Heath Gibson said. "Going up there we knew it was going to be a close meet because it is Class 1A-3A so it is some good competition. But we didn't realize we would come home with the first place trophy."
The amazing feat the girls' team pulled off was to have only two girls qualify and still walk away with a first place award.
"We had three girls up there and two qualified for the final day," Gibson said. "And that was a blessing to win it all. We were not expecting that to happen and we were happy to have that kind of showing."
Andrea Nall won the two-mile run and the 800-meter run. She placed second in the long jump and Kristen Matthews placed sixth in the two-mile.
"We had a very small team, but we grabbed a very large prize," Nall said. "I thought it was amazing for us to pull that off."
Matthews said she was also excited to win it all.
"I was surprised," Matthews said. "Not that we won, but that we won with only two people. It was a lot of fun."
Gibson said the boys' meet hinged on the 1,600-meter relay.
"It came down to the 4×400 relay," he said. "And our guys placed while the other 2A schools did not and we took home first place."
The EA 1,600 relay team of Jon Dean, Tank Mitchell, Nick Flowers and Kaweta Coon placed fourth in the event and pushed EA's total points to 32, enough for the Class 2A win. Evangel Christian Academy clocked in second with 23 points and Jackson Academy rounded out the Top-3 with 18 points.
Alan Ash recorded a win in the two-mile and a second-place finish in the one-mile. The 400-relay team of Cody Norton, Dustin Hall, Dean and Blayne Garrett finished third and Seth Lassiter came in fourth in the one-mile.
Gibson said EA put itself on the track and field map in the past two weeks.
"This is a huge morale booster for us to have won three state titles," Gibson said. "And we are going to try and keep everything going in the right direction next year."

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