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Tyler Pitts, center, of Bob Jones stands atop the winners’ platform as State Champion for the 60-meter hurdles event at the AHSAA State Indoor Track Meet. The senior hurdler won the event with a time of 8.3 seconds. Photo Contributed

State Indoor Track Meet- Tyler Pitts Wins Hurdles Title

BIRMINGHAM- Tyler Pitts screamed “let’s go” as he crossed the finish line to win the gold medal as Class 7A State Champion in the 60-meter hurdles as part of the AHSAA Indoor Track State Meet held in Birmingham and became the lone individual from the local schools to stand highest at the winners’ platform.

“I’ve been chasing this since I was a sophomore and I told everyone going into the State Meet I was going to win,” said Pitts, who was seeded third going into the meet and posted a winning time of 8.30 seconds. “I’m blessed to win as I ran a perfect race.”

The senior at Bob Jones has a 3.4 grade point average and is looking to run track in college, but has yet to choose a program to continue his education. First, he knew he had to perform as his highest level to be able to grab the attention of possible college track programs. The 5-foot-11, 145-pound Pitts quit football to concentrate on track going into his sophomore year. He said sprinting is fun, but running hurdles is a whole new ballgame.

“I practice at school and at home with the help of my father (Orlando Pitts) as I run hills and pull sleds of weights,” said Pitts. “Going into the finals he told me to relax and just run my race. I ended up running a perfect race as I got a great start out of the block and once I cleared that first hurdle I knew I could do it.”

Bob Jones track head coach Brad Jefferson has watched the progress of Pitts since he decided to face the hurdles fulltime three seasons ago. He said of Pitts, “He trained all summer and actually changed his whole body in preparation for this event. He took it upon himself to train hard and he’s a great athlete and person away from the track.”

Hewitt-Trussville won both the boys and girls divisions of the Class 7A State Meet. The final team standings in boys included 1. Hewitt-Trussville 77.5, 10. James Clemens, 24, 12. Bob Jones, 19, and 15. Sparkman, 6. In girls, Hewitt Trussville was first 101, 6. James Clemens, 35.5, 12. Bob Jones, 17, and 14. Sparkman, 5.

The final results for local athletes of those finishing in the top eight and being named All-State included: Boys- 60m- 3. Johnny Holloway, Sparkman, 6.97, 4. Chad Coulter, James Clemens, 6.98; 60m hurdles- 1. Tyler Pitts, Bob Jones, 8.30; 4×200 relay- 2. James Clemens, 1:30.41; 4×400 relay- 7. Bob Jones, 3:35.35; 4×800 relay- 5. James Clemens, 8:32.43, 7. Bob Jones, 8:39.91; high jump- 4. Casey Scarebrook, Bob Jones, 6-04; triple jump- 3. Willie Campbell, James Clemens, 44-03; shot put- Jaylen Drake, James Clemens, 43-08.50.

Girls- 60m- 6. Janae Hilliard, Sparkman, 7.89; 1600m- 5. Hannah Thuss, Bob Jones, 5:17.49; 3200m-Hannah Thuss, Bob Jones, 11:51.72; 60m hurdles- 3. Cadence Huntsinger, James Clemens, 9.42; 4×200 relay- 7. Sparkman, 1:50.85; 4×400 relay- 4. Bob Jones, 4:15.88; 4×800 relay- 7. Bob Jones, 10:33.99; high jump- 3. Reese Yarbrough, James Clemens, 5-00, 6. Lily McIton, James Clemens, 4-10, 8. Mercedes Zich, Bob Jones, 4-10; long jump- 5. Cadence Huntsinger, James Clemens, 16-09.25, 6. Xanyah Edwards, James Clemens, 16-03; triple jump- 3. Cadence Huntsinger, James Clemens, 36-04, 8. Xanyah Edwards, James Clemens, 32-10.50; shot put- 5. Cadence Huntsinger, James Clemens, 33-07, 8. Kirsten Tigner, Bob Jones, 32-06.50.

In Class 4A-5A, Madison Academy scored one point overall to finish No. 27 as C.J. Weaver posted the program’s lone team point by finished No. 8 in the boys 1600m with a time of 4:51.77.

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