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FDA wins AISA state track championship

The Fort Dale Academy varsity Eagle track team took home the AISA state track championship last weekend in Selma.

The team finished the regular season undefeated and won the state championship in the final race last weekend. The team won the 1,600-meter relay to clinch the championship by a narrow four-point margin. Faith Academy took second place honors.

Fort Dale head track coach Al Landwehr says he is very proud of the outstanding work and talent the team showed this year. "What started on a goal and dream five years ago became a reality as the boys defeated more than ten teams for the AISA title," he said.

Landwehr said the team went into the final race only two points ahead of Faith Academy and knew they had to win the race to win the championship. "Going into the final race (the 1,600-meter relay), Fort Dale was ahead of Faith Academy by two points and had to beat the previously undefeated Faith relay team in order to win the title outright," he said. "With the title on the line, Evan Brock, Crenshaw Poole, Thomas Stabler and Bryce Landwehr ran their fastest time of the year (3.44.75) and defeated Faith Academy by more than 40 yards and thus received the first ever state track title in Fort Dale History."

Fort Dale scored 122 points by placing first in five events, second in four events, third in four events and fourth in three events.

Ryan Landwehr was named MVP of the state track meet by scoring 40 points overall. He took home first place honors in the pole vault event, second in long jump,110-meter high hurdle and the 200-meter and third in the 400-meter run.

Bryce Landwehr scored 32.5 points by finishing first place in the 110-meter high hurdle and 400-meter events, third in the 200-meter and fourth in pole vaulting. He also ran the final leg on the winning 1,600-meter relay.

Crenshaw Poole scored a 28.5 by placing first in the pole vault and 300-meter intermediate hurdles and third in the 110-meter high hurdles. He ran the second leg of the 1,600-meter relay.

Thomas Stabler scored 15.5 points by placing second in the 800-meter run and fourth in the triple jump. He ran a leg on the fourth place 3,200-meter relay team and ran a leg on the 1,600-meter relay team.

Other crucial points were scored by Josh Till, Kevin Woodson and Jeff Burch, who ran a leg in the 1,600-meter relay.

Coach Landwehr said it takes teamwork and perseverance to accomplish a goal such as this. "Because of the hard work and dedication of Thomas Stabler, Crenshaw Poole and Bryce and Ryan Landwehr, Fort Dale was able to accomplish this milestone in Fort Dale history," he said. "Coach Sampley and myself are very proud of what this team has accomplished, and all the fans who came to encourage us made it more exciting and special to all the girls and boys who participate in the track program."

The girls' track team finished sixth in the state meet, with 18 girls participating on the team. Landwehr said there are no seniors on the team, so the group will grow stronger with time.

"We have 18 girls and no seniors who compete against other teams with over 40 girls, so sixth place was acceptable," he said. "However, we will have our strongest team next year, and we will be among the top three teams trying to upset powerhouse Morgan Academy."

The girls were led by Michelle Lowe who scored a 14.25 by placing second in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash. She ran the final leg on the sixth-place 400-meter relay team.

Landwehr said Lowe will likely be a force to be reckoned with on next year's team. "With her ambition and talent, Michelle will be a strong candidate to win the MVP award next year," he said.

Marcey Adams placed fourth in the long jump and also ran on the sixth place 400-meter relay team and the fourth place 1,600-meter relay team.

The 400-meter relay team was comprised of Marcey Adams, Wesley Atkins, Kayla Nolan and Michelle Lowe, while the 1,600-meter relay team included Wesley Atkins, Marcey Adams, Shana Fail and Kayla Nolan.

The 3,200-meter relay team finished fourth. Included on that team were Alice Norman, Stephanie Sims, Hope Stanford and Suzanne Golson.

Newcomer Brittany Ingalls led with the strongest finish in distance races by finishing eighth in the 1,600-meter and seventh place in the 3,200-meter.

Landwehr said Ingalls will bring depth to the team and will be an asset in next year's competitions. "She brings an added depth to our team that we need in order to be a competitive team next year," he said.

Landwehr said he is excited about next year's girls' team and hopes they will only be stronger then. "All our young girls are ready to go to another level in competition and it will be exciting to see what they are capable of achieving next year."