Isabella places two in indoor track

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Isabella High School had two finalists in state indoor track championship and narrowly missed placing a third in the event held at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Feb. 3 and 4.

Isabella was one of only a few schools from Class 1A at the event and competed against schools from Class 2A and 3A.

“Anytime you can go up against bigger schools and hold your own, you’re doing great,” Isabella head coach Rex Littleton said. “We’ve been fortunate enough to win a few state championships, and it should be a prideful thing.”

Hunter Langston finished third in the boys 60-meter dash after running a personal best of 7.35 seconds.

Jordan Campbell performed in the boys long jump and finished in third with a distance of 19-3 3/4.

Tyler Smitherman competed in the boys shot put and just missed a podium finish as well, as he wrapped up fourth place with a throw of 41-5 1/4.

“We’ve grown from about 12 members to approaching 50 this year,” Smitherman said. “We went from going to track meets and not even getting medals to now coming home with at least five or six. We should bring home some more state championships this year.”

Twenty-two schools competed in the Class 1A-3A portion of the event.

Unlike outdoor, indoor track meets are divided up with schools from Class 4A-7A represented in the other side of the event.

The indoor track season rolls right into the outdoor season, which is longer. Isabella is the only school in the county that competes in indoor track.

“You’re already a step ahead of the game compared to other schools,” Smitherman said. “We like competition, because it drives us to work harder.”

According to Smitherman, athletes use the indoor season as conditioning and preparation for the outdoor schedule.

The indoor season runs through the month of January.

Some events differ from outdoor to indoor. Although the shot put and long jump are the same, the 60-meter dash is offered, while the 100-meter is not.

“It’s really like having a longer season with extra practice,” Langston said.

Over the years, the success of the program has led to improved facilities, which allows the ability to introduce students to multiple events that were not offered in the past.

“It gives the kids an opportunity to excel in something other than the major sports,” Littleton said.