Scottsboro 4×800 Relay Team Clocks Nation’s Third Fastest Time of 2021

From left: Rex Green, Benson Atkins, Cooper Atkins and Hayden Judge. (Special Photo / Chris Wells)

The Scottsboro High School boys’ outstanding 4×800-meter relay team continues to dominate the action in the 2021 AHSAA Outdoor Track & Field season. The Wildcats won the event at the Mountain Brook Invitational last weekend with a time of 7:49.28. The time, according to Tim Loreman of Alabama Runners, was the third fastest time recorded this season in the nation – and thrust the quartet into the AHSAA Track Spotlight this week.
   Coach Luke Robinson’s quartet at the Mountain Brook meet consisted of twin seniors Benson and Cooper Atkins, senior Hayden Judge and junior Rex Green. The relay team, which has also included Ridge Wells, has won their event at five track meets this season.
   Huntsville was second in the Mountain Brook race behind Scottsboro with a time of 7:53.38.
    The state meet record in the 4×800 was set in 2018 by Mountain Brook in the AHSAA Class 7A Outdoor State Championships at Gulf Shores with a winning time of 8:47.70. Scottsboro’s winning time last weekend surpassed the previous record for a 6A school (7:51.08) set by Mountain Brook at the 2005 AHSAA State Championships.
    The national high school record (7:33.48), according to the NFHS National Record Book, was set by Warrington Central Bucs South (PA) High School in 2009. A relay team from Long Beach Polytechnic (CA) clocked 7:28.75 at the National Scholastic Championships in 2011, but that meet was run in the summer outside the high school season. Track & Field News counts records set by high schoolers in any events leading up to their college participation, but the NFHS counts only records set in high school events.
  Vestavia Hills senior Ethan Strand won the mile run at Mountain Brook in 4:07.90, the best time in that event. Cooper Atkins was second at 4:10.79. He holds the state’s top performance of the season in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:16.17 run at the Husky March Classic on March 4. Strand also clocked a season best 8:59.96 in the two-mile run with Atkins second and Mac Connell of St. Paul’s Episcopal, third. Mobile’s Connell ran the 3,200 meters in 9:22.83   at the UMS-Wright Quad Meet on March 12 for the best time of the season in that race.
   Tanvfeer Raza of Hewitt-Trussville turned in the state’s best shot put throw of the season with his winning toss of 58-7 at Mountain Brook. Kneeland Hibbett of Florence had the state’s best throw of the season in the discus (163-11) at the Florence Pre-Sectional meet on April 9.
  On the girls’ side, Mackenzie Culpepper of Spain Park and Northridge’s Rashni Walker also turned in the state’s best times this season in the 800-meter race and 100-meter hurdles race, respectively, at Mountain Brook’s meet. Culpepper won the 800 with a winning time of 2:13.19 and Walker clocked 14.60 seconds to win the hurdles. Chakiya Plummer of Hoover also clocked 42.89 in the 300-meter hurdles to win with the state’s best time of the year.
   Trinity Love of Opelika threw the discus 125 feet, 6 ½ inches at Monday’s Mike Spain Invitational to win the event with the AHSAA’s best girls’ throw of 2021.