Blue Devil track athletes best in state

Published 1:42 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
Being named state champion is something every high school athlete strives for, but two Escambia County High School student athletes don't have to wish any longer. Kiara Henry and Brandon McKenzie took home a combined three state titles at the AHSAA Class 4A state track and field meet in Gulf Shores May 4-5.
Henry ran the 100-meter dash in a time of 12.48 seconds for the state title. She also snagged the gold medal in the long jump with a jump of 17 feet, 3 inches, which was one-quarter of an inch farther than the second place jump.
"It feels good to be named state champion," Henry said. "I have worked so hard for it and it has come true."
McKenzie smoked the competition in the boys' 100 with a time of 10.95. The closest runner to his dust came in with a time of 11.18. McKenzie, a senior, said it was a great feeling to accomplish the feat in his senior year.
"It feels good since I have been working hard for three years and I finally got (the state championship in the 100)," he said.
Henry will have a chance to defend her title, but McKenzie reached the milestone in his senior year.
ECHS track head coach Barry Larkin said these gold medals would help the Blue Devil track teams of the future.
"This team as a whole has the potential to compete against anyone," Larkin said. "These state championships should motivate the rest of the team to work harder and run faster next year. I am so proud of the two of them for accomplishing that feat."
Larkin said this also helped put the track and field team on the map.
"Track is just as good as any other sport and I believe Kiara and Brandon's showing at the state meet showed that," Larkin said. "We as track coaches coach the kids with more speed than any other sport. But if you don't want to run fast, run long and jump high then don't come out for track."

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