Lady Tigers place fourth in state meet

Published 5:16 pm Friday, May 1, 2015

A pair of Lady Tigers led Greenville High School to a fourth-place finish at the Class 5A Section 1 track and field championships.

Quintazia Powell saved her best performance for last with a career-best 28-feet, 11-inch shot put toss, finishing in fourth place overall and qualifying for the 2015 Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) shot put championships in Gulf Shores.

Powell, who is in her first season of competing in track and field, has broken her own school shot put record five times this season alone.

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She broke the original record of 23 feet on her first throw of the season at an Auburn-hosted invitational.

Powell also has a career best in the javelin (52 feet 4 inches), discus (57 feet 6.25 inches) and the 100-meter dash (15.27 seconds).

Greenville High School track and field coach Khari Palmer said that Powell has worked hard to get herself into championship conditioning.

“I challenged her at the beginning of the season with the task of becoming the most dominant track and field athlete that has ever come through Greenville High School,” Palmer said.

“She has really shown her versatility as an athlete this season.  I am looking forward to an outstanding performance in Gulf Shores.  Hopefully, she will maintain her level of play and place at the state championships this weekend.”

Eighth-grade standout Wilisha Ward also turned heads by advancing to the women’s 100-meter dash finals with a time of 12.9 seconds.

Ward later eclipsed the competition, as well as her earlier time, and won her first 100-meter dash championship with a 12.71-second finish.

Ward also competed in the 400-meter dash, finishing second place just behind Emily Burroughs of St. Pauls with a time of 1:01.97 (just 36 hundredths of a second shy of first place).

Ward’s second victory of the day came in the 200-meter dash, facing the Demopolis duo of Nykeria Grayer and Shy-shawna Smith in the championship race.

Ward took the top finish with a 26.9-second sprint.

Palmer said that Ward told him before leaving Greenville that she wanted to win every event, and she nearly did jus that.

“That let me know that she was focused and determined to be successful,” Palmer said.

“It is very seldom that you find an athlete as young as she is with little track experience go out and compete with the best in the state.  Today she showed that she belongs with the elite runners in 5A.  Our next goal is to show that she is one of the top sprinters in the state of Alabama.”