Paradise reigns in 9-2A; Panthers, Lady Panthers win titles

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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For the second straight year, the District 9-2A boys team title will stay in Paradise – where the girls title also happens to reside.

The Panthers piled up 184 points to hold off the Boyd Yellowjackets by 13 points and claim their second straight district crown.

“It’s awesome to win it a second time,” said Paradise sprinter Austin Hogan.

The Lady Panthers took the league title with 192 points, finishing 58 ahead of Alvord.

“It’s been a long time in the making,” said Paradise girls coach Johna Ford in an email over the weekend. “It was the success of numerous coaches before me, as well as athletes, that helped to build the program.”

The Panthers won district despite winning first in only two events – the 400 and pole vault. Robert Norvell won the 400 Friday in 51.29.

“The guys came through, especially the guys that didn’t finish first,” said Paradise coach Jonathan Ryle. “We needed all those fifth- and sixth-place finishes. We don’t have that one superstar. They were all unselfish and competed.”

The Lady Panthers captured the title by raking in six gold medals, including the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.

“It’s very honoring to have the team we have,” said Bailey Sides, who ran on all three Paradise relays. “This is the first time since 2001 for us to be district champs.”

Tops in 200

TOPS IN 200 – Boyd’s Qualyn Wells left the field behind to win the 200. It was Wells’ third gold medal of the meet. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


The quartet of Boyd seniors on the 4×400 accomplished their goal of setting a record school record Friday at the District 9-2A meet.

Joseph Tate, Shay Dodson, Austin Cozby and Dalton Stidham broke the old mark of 3:30 with gold-medal time of 3:29.41. The quartet moves on to the Class 2A 9/10 area meet Wednesday at Boyd’s Yellowjacket Stadium.

“The mile relay record is something we’ve been chasing for four years,” Dodson said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Boyd finished a second in front Paradise, which finished in 3:30.64. Brock grabbed third in 3:32.7.

Tate ran a solid opening leg for the Yellowjackets, handing off to Dodson in second place.

“I was in second until the backstretch, and I put us in first,” Dodson said.

He handed off to Cozby who kept Boyd near the front until making the pass off to Stidham.

“We were all about the same until Dalton kicked it in,” Dodson said.

Stidham crossed first for his third gold medal of the night. He also won the 110 and 300 hurdles with times of 15.86 and 39.79.

The 4×400 wasn’t the only Boyd relay to set a record Friday. The 4×200 team of Dodson, Xavier Kyle, Jackson Basting and Qualynn Wells set the school’s best mark, running 1:32.52 for the gold medal.

The same group also won the 4×100 in 43.93, edging Paradise’s quartet of Austin Hogan, Luke Gage, Nick Loney and Robert Norvell, who ran 43.97.

Wells won a third gold medal by taking the 200 in 23.21.

Bulldog Strong

BULLDOG STRONG – Alvord junior Joe Randall edges Paradise’s Luke Gage to retain the 100-meter crown in District 9-2A. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Running headfirst into a stiff wind added an extra challenge, but Alvord junior Joe Randall defended his 9-2A title in the 100 Friday and once again earned the title of league’s fastest man.

Randall ran 11.5 to narrowly win the race over a trio of Paradise runners – Luke Gage, Austin Hogan and Kristoff Pewitt. Gage and Hogan each finished in 11.75, and Pewitt 11.87.

“We were all close,” Randall said. “I’ve been practicing a lot on getting out of the blocks lately and going into the wind. It helped me.

“Hopefully I can hold on to [the title] one more year,” Randall said.

Hogan said he wasn’t crazy about how he came out of the blocks for the race.

“I had a bad start,” he said. “It was crazy. I thought we’d be more spread out.”

Tale of the Tape

TALE OF THE TAPE – Paradise’s Mikaela Beck (left) stretches to win the district championship in the 100 meters for the second straight year Friday, with teammate Carressa McCasland two lanes over coming in fourth. The Lady Panthers captured six golds en route to the district title. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Paradise’ Mikaela Beck claimed the gold medal in the 9-2A 100 for a second straight year Friday.

Beck turned in a 13.18 to beat Peaster’s Sarah Rattan, who crossed in 13.52.

“It’s a big honor and definitely worth all the hard work,” Beck said. “There probably couldn’t have been more wind. That’s why our times were slow.”

It was one of two gold medals for Beck. She also helped the 4×100 relay take first in 51.39. She was joined by Kydall McCasland, Bailey Sides and Taylor Richards on the relay.

“I’m proud of our performance. Our handoffs were not good, but we had a good time even with the wind,” Beck said.

“We’re sitting OK going into area. We haven’t had much competition. Hopefully we’ll have to push ourselves to get a better time.”

Richards and Sides ran on the 4×200 team with Carressa McCasland and Aliyah Read that won in 1:48.92.

“It’s exciting to win,” Sides said.

Read gave Paradise the sweep in the sprints, winning the 200 in 27.38. Richards was second in 27.48.

Amber French won the 100 hurdles in 18.06.


After not running the 300 hurdles last year, Lauren Hart took the gold medal Friday at the 9-2A meet.

Hart ran 48.29 to win the race over Paradise’s Kyndall McCasland.

“I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve got time to get there,” Hart said. “I stuttered on a few [hurdles]. I still need to improve.”

The 300 hurdles medal was one of two golds for Hart. She joined Jessica Gillespie, Marissa Schedcik and Savannah Williams on the winning 4×400 squad that prevented Paradise from sweeping the relays. Alvord finished in 4:10.57. Paradise took second in 4:12.41.

“I am so proud of the girls,” Hart said. “We ran awesome. We’ve improved a lot and want to get to state.”

Williams, last year’s 2A silver medalist, won the 800 in 2:28.83.

Alvord’s Brooklyn Mitchum outsprinted Paradise’s April Coursey and Angela Powers to the finish line in the 1,600, winning in 5:51.27. Coursey was second in 5:51.95, and Powers third in 5:52.08.



Team: 1. Paradise 192, 2. Alvord 134, 3. Boyd 101, 4. Peaster 87, 5. Brock 60, 6. Millsap 26, 7. Ponder 13

100: 1. Mikaela Beck, Paradise, 13.18; 4. Carressa McCasland, Paradise, 13.99; 6. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 14.05; 7. Katie Claborn, Alvord, 14.11; 8. Lindsey Thorpe, Boyd, 14.19

200: 1. Aliyah Read, Paradise, 27.38; 2. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 27.48; 3. Olivia Singleton, Boyd, 28.01; 4. Jessica Gillespie, Alvord, 28.11; 8. Deanna Walterscheid, Paradise, 29.43

400: 1. Sarah Rattan, Peaster, 59.74; 4. Caitlyn Lynch, Alvord, 1:05.32; 5. Carressa McCasland, Paradise, 1:06.2

800: 1. Savannah Williams, Alvord, 2:28.83; 4. Makala Neighbors, Paradise, 2:36.25; 5. Kaylee McConnell, Paradise, 2:37.15; 6. Caitlyn Lynch, Alvord, 2:38.53; 7. Brooklyn Mitchum, Alvord, 2:38.94; 8. April Coursey, Paradise, 2:39.22

1600: 1. Brooklyn Mitchum, Alvord, 5:51.27; 2. April Coursey, Paradise, 5:51.95; 3. Angela Powers, Paradise, 5:52.08; 4. Jessica Colbert, Boyd, 5:56.21; 5. Kaylee McConnell, Paradise, 6:01.67; 6. Clara Breashears, Alvord, 6:04.64; 7. Corey Schlomach, Alvord, 6:11.11; 8. Heather Beauregard, Boyd, 6:18.95

100 hurdles: 1. Amber French, Paradise, 18.06; 2. Linsey Chancelor, Boyd, 18.3; 3. Kyndall McCasland, Paradise, 18.35; 4. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 18.86

300 hurdles: 1. Lauren Hart, Alvord, 48.29; 2. Kyndall McCasland, Paradise, 48.77; 3. Bailee Luttrell, Boyd, 50.45; 5. Amber French, Paradise, 52.77; 6. Linsey Chancelor, Boyd, 53.1; 7. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 53.58

4×100: 1. Paradise: Kyndall McCasland, Bailey Sides, Taylor Richards, Mikaela Beck, 51.39; 2. Alvord: Katie Claborn, Brianna Ponder, Emily Edge, Marissa Schedcik, 52.77; 3. Boyd: Bailee Harris, Amber Montgomery, Karlen Kinsey, Olivia Singleton, 53.24

4×200: 1. Paradise: Carressa McCasland, Bailey Sides, Taylor Richards, Aliyah Read, 1:48.92; 2. Alvord: Lauren Hart, Jessica Gillespie, Marissa Schedcik, Savannah Williams, 1:50.04; 4. Boyd: Bailee Harris, Amber Montgomery, Kyndal Crisman, Olivia Singleton, 1:54.83

4×400: 1. Alvord: Lauren Hart, Jessica Gillespie, Marissa Schedcik, Savannah Williams, 4:10.57; 2. Paradise: Bailey Sides, Aliyah Read, Makala Neighbors, Mikaela Beck, 4:12.41; 5. Boyd: Bailee Harris, Bailee Luttrell, Amber Montgomery, Jade Moore, 4:25.71


Team: 1. Paradise 184, 2. Boyd 171, 3. Ponder 100, 4. Brock 63, 5. Alvord 52, 6. Peaster 24, 7. Millsap 17

100: 1. Joe Randall, Alvord, 11.5; 2. Luke Gage, Paradise, 11.75; 2. Austin Hogan, Paradise, 11.75; 4. Kristoff Pewitt, Paradise, 11.87; 6. Xavier Kyle, Boyd, 11.96; 8. Justin Milligan, Boyd, 12.4

200: 1. Qualyn Wells, Boyd, 23.21; 2. Austin Hogan, Paradise, 23.7; 4. Cash Preather, Paradise, 24.08; 7. Jonathan Musgrave, Alvord, 24.4; 8. Troy Thompson, Boyd, 24.45

400: 1. Robert Norvell, Paradise, 51.29; 2. Joseph Tate, Boyd, 53; 5. Andrew Nichols, Alvord, 54.18; 6. Colby Dial, Paradise, 54.62; 7. Josh Malone, Alvord, 54.94; 8. Trey Gordon, Boyd, 55.57

800: 1. David Buchanan, Peaster, 2:01.44; 2. Colby Dial, Paradise, 2:08.79; 5. Cameron Hammett, Boyd, 2:17.03; 7. Isaac Vang, Boyd, 2:18.32; 8. Logan Watkins, Alvord, 2:21.6

1600: 1. David Buchanan, Peaster, 4:43.83; 2. Marco Martinez, Boyd, 4:49.47; 3. David Pearson, Paradise, 4:54.2; 4. Omar Martinez, Boyd, 4:56.99; 5. Chance Dial, Paradise, 4:58.84; 6. Aaron Hammett, Boyd, 4:59.38; 8. Landry Norwood, Paradise, 5:09.15

110 hurdles: 1. Dalton Stidham, Boyd, 15.86; 2. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 16.31; 3. Bryce Miller, Paradise, 16.64; 4. Brett Martin, Alvord, 16.82; 5. Austin Cozby, Boyd, 17.94; 6. Josh Malone, Alvord, 18.56

300 hurdles: 1. Dalton Stidham, Boyd, 39.79; 2. Austin Cozby, Boyd, 42.36; 3. Bryce Miller, Paradise, 43.16; 4. Cody Carmichael, Paradise, 43.44

4×100: 1. Boyd: Shay Dodson, Xavier Kyle, Jackson Basting, Qualynn Wells, 43.93; 2. Paradise: Austin Hogan, Luke Gage, Nick Loney, Robert Norvell, 43.97; 5. Alvord: Joe Randall, Jonathan Musgrave, Kyle Dunn, Brett Martin, 45.42

4×200: 1. Boyd: Shay Dodson, Xavier Kyle, Jackson Basting, Qualynn Wells; 2. Alvord: Brett Martin, Heath Walker, Jonathan Musgrave, Joe Randall, 1:33.15; 5. Paradise: Nick Loney, Tanner Valentine, Cash Preather, Chris Hill, 1:34.88

4×400: 1. Boyd: Joseph Tate, Shay Dodson, Austin Cozby, Dalton Stidham, 3:29.41; 2. Paradise: Colby Dial, Nick Loney, Cody Carmichael, Robert Norvell; 4. Alvord: Logan Watkins, Andrew Nichols, Heath Walker, Josh Malone, 3:43.66

Field events and 3200 results were in April 12 issue of the Messenger.

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