When Shane Parks finished the 60-meter dash final at the AHSAA state indoor track and field meet on Saturday, he turned to see his placing and time on a digital board. Then, he jumped into his father’s arms.
He won. And for the Prattville Christian senior who put his faith into his dad’s coaching, and who dedicated his Sundays after church to work on his starts at the track, the victory was a culmination of something he had a difficult time putting into words.
“The race was amazing,” he said, minutes after winning in 7.27 seconds at the CrossPlex. “I just knew I had to win it. I’ve been working, practicing, going outside and working at home starting off the blocks. Because it is very important in the 60-meter dash to get out first, and that’s what I did. And, fortunately, I was able to hold on to it all down the way.
“At the 40-meter mark, the guy next to me, he was right on me breathing down my neck. So I was able to push and scream and holler, and I was able to get past the finish line right in front of him.”
Parks won by .02 seconds.
PCA made its debut in the AHSAA this year, and competing with them in Class 1A-4A were Catholic, Montgomery Academy, Elmore County, St. James and LAMP. Prattville competed in the 6A division.
Parks was coached by his dad, Shawn. Finishing behind Parks were Elmore County’s Eddie Cooper, who finished in third place with a time of 7.42, and Prattville Christian’s Sean O’Brian, who finished fourth in 7.43.
“It means so much to the school, because … we are expected to win at PCA,” Shawn Parks said. “Anywhere we go, we want to do well. And our kids, they came out and competed and represented our school, and I’m excited.”
His son said results are based off hard work.
“So never be discouraged to work,” Shane Parks said. “Nobody every regretted working hard, after they did it. I just want to thank my coach, my teammates, my opponents, and most of all, and ultimately, I’d like to thank God because without Him, none of this is possible.”
Montgomery Academy’s Jeong Ahn finished second in the shot put, with a throw of 39 feet, 9 inches. It was a personal best by about 5 feet. And it came after having had two knee surgeries and having had readjusted his throwing technique just days ago.
“The way that we were teaching him (was) the full glide and throw,” MA coach Kevin Weatherill said. “The problem is, during the middle of it, you have all your weight on one leg and that was the knee he had surgery on. What we realized was, he wasn’t getting a whole lot out of the first part of the drive.
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid,” Weatherill said of the end result. “He was so happy.”
Finishing in third place in the boys shot put was Catholic’s Zach Hulcher, with a throw of 39 feet, 4 inches. In eighth place was LAMP’s John Kho, and in 10th was Elmore County’s Michael Jones.
In the girls shot put, LAMP’s Joy Dees finished seventh with a throw of 28 feet, 21/4 inches.
Catholic’s Kylie Frank ran a personal best Saturday in the mile race, finishing in second place with a time of 5:16.20. The eighth-grader also was part of her school’s 3,200 relay team — along with Katherine Terino, Katelyn Stark and Jenni Morgan — which finished second, with a time of 10:35.43. Montgomery Academy girls finished fourth.
In the 400-meter run, Prattville Christian’s Sean O’Brian finished fourth with a time of 53.52. In the girls 400-meter race, Frank placed fourth with a time of 1:01.46, while Montgomery Academy’s Jazmyn Dozier finished 10th in 1:05.07.
Following Frank in the girls mile race, Montgomery Academy’s Taylor Gerard finished fifth with a time of 5:24.49, and Catholic’s Katherine Terino finished in 10th place with a time of 5:50.67. In the boys mile race, Catholic’s Jarrett Mason ran a 4:40.22 for a fourth place finish, with teammate Skip Martin in seventh with a time of 4:43.37. Montgomery Academy’s Jack Barganier finished 10th with a time of 4:49.19.
In the boys 60-meter hurdles, Prattville Christian’s Justin Humphrey ran a 9.94 to finish in fifth place.
In the boys 3,200 relay, LAMP finished fourth in 8:59.70. On the team was Richard McCant, Patrick Wolf, Noah Foster and Ian Richert. In fifth place, Catholic’s Skip Martin, Jarrett Mason, Timothy McOmber and Winston Wright ran a time of 9:07.96.
In the boys 1,600 relay, Catholic finished sixth, and was represented by Jarrett Chesnutt, Dylan Craig, Nate Smith and Nathan Revor. The Montgomery Academy boys team finished eighth.
In the girls 1,600 race, Montgomery Academy finished third and Catholic ninth.