It was a record-setting day for the Homewood High School Track & Field team. Both the boys and girls teams finished 3rd out of 63 entered teams at the Holiday Invitational on Saturday, and the teams that defeated Homewood, which is 6A this year, were in the larger 7A classification. Alazae Hester-Taylor and the girls 4x200m relay team broke school records and earned top 10 national rankings.
Alazae Hester-Taylor led the boys team by winning both the high jump and the triple jump. He set the school record in triple jump by jumping 45 ft. and 11.75 inches and tied the school record in high jump by jumping 6 feet and 4 inches. Alazae’s triple jump mark is good for 7th in the U.S. right now. Andy Smith also had a big day for the boys team by winning the 1600m with a time of 4:31.94 and placing 4th in the 800m with a time of 1:59.36.
Kiara Williams led the girls by winning both the long jump and the triple jump. Kiara is still the nation’s leader in long jump, and she is second in the U.S. in the triple jump. The 4x200m relay team of Elysa Griffin, Kiara Williams, Ann Mosely Whitsett, and Hunter Midgett got 2nd to Hoover, but they broke the school record by running a time of 1:45.38, which is the 9th best time in the U.S. The relay team broke the school record that was set last year when they won state and set the 5A state record.
Head Coach Tom Esslinger was very pleased with the early season performances and stated, “We have a great opportunity to win championships in both the boys and girls this season, but it is going to be really tough in the new 6A classification. Teams like Opelika in the boys and girls and Pelham in the girls are going to be very difficult to beat. We just have to take it one day at a time and keep improving. Our athletes are definitely working hard and know what it is going to take to win.” The Patriots have their next meet on January 3rd at the CrossPlex.
Here are the full results of the Holiday Invitational: http://al.milesplit.com/meets/173624/results/342827/raw