Adam Barnard ran 2:02 over the final half mile to finish at 4:13 and 2.6 seconds ahead of rival Quintin McKinnish of Morristown West and five seconds ahead of Aaron Templeton of Hardin Valley in the boys’ 1-mile run, a race named after legendary ETSU harrier Ray Flynn.
“It was a very humbling experience,” Barnard said after his victory Saturday afternoon at Kermit Tipton Stadium. “I’m used to not being able to finish in front of those guys. They’re among the best runners in the nation so anytime you’re able to edge them out at a great meet like this, it’s a very humbling thing to do. It’s a nice feeling to come out on top for once.”
Barnard took the lead from McKinnish on the backstretch of the third lap. He maintained a slight lead heading into the final lap and then finished with a strong kick.
Barnard followed up that performance by finishing a close second to Dobyns-Bennett’s Bryce Ailshie in the 800. Barnard ran a 1:54 and Ashton Wilson of Daniel Boone was third with a 1:56, easily his personal best.
Also for the Trailblazers, Christian Stumpf cleared 6-foot-7 in the high jump to win the event for a second straight year. While the Tri-Cities Classic served as Stumpf’s breakout performance a year ago, he relished the opportunity to be a repeat champion.
Stumph set a Daniel Boone school record of 6-foot-8 weeks ago in Oak Ridge. After he cleared 6-7 on Saturday, Stumpf barely missed clearing 6-9 as his heel caught the bar which was set on odd-numbered increments.
“I just tried to stay focused and do what I do in practice,” Stumpf said. “It pays off. To come back here and defend my title, that means a lot.”
Jared Phillips, his Boone teammate, cleared 6-1 to finish third.
Overall, it was a fruitful weekend for the Trailblazers. Their 4x200 relay team of Bryan Langan, Steven Carr, Stumpf and Wilson set a new school record in the event.
For host Science Hill, the day was highlighted by a pair of runner-up finishes.
The boys’ 4x800 relay team of Alex Crigger, Jonathan Spitznas, Keaton Parr and Noah Charles finished at 8:26, a distant second to the team from Hardin Valley. Elijah Mathes was second in the long jump, with his leap of 21.08, just an inch and a half behind the winning effort by Isaac Perrigan of Abingdon (Va.).
Science Hill’s team of Alicia DeVos, Halle Hausman, Katie Lance and Sarah Fickley finished third in the girls’ portion of the 4x800 and Fickley later ran 5:18 in the mile to set a personal record.
In addition, Savannah Hirst soared to new heights. She cleared 10-6 in the pole vault to finish fourth and set a new school record. Her coaches believe she could easily top 11 feet by the end of the season.
“She was really, really close at getting 11 (feet),” Science Hill coach Jennifer Brockett said. “She’s going for more this year.”
Other top-five finishes for the Hilltoppers included: Stacey Reed
going 16-4 to finish third in the long jump, and Cleo Mellish taking fourth in the girls’ 100.
Elizabethton’s best finishes on Saturday were a fifth-place by Ethan Thomas in the boys’ long jump and a seventh-place heave of 107-09 by Emily Schubert in the discus. Happy Valley’s weekend included a school record set by the Distance Medley Relay team of Matthew Albritton, Chaz McCracken, Austen Lopez and Christian Durocher.
University High’s meet was highlighted by Jarrod Smith clearing 12-6 in the boys’ pole vault.
Overall, the meet doubled in size from the previous year and attracted teams from North Carolina, Virginia and Alabama.
“We want all the outside teams to have a great time,” Brockett said. “Plus we want them to tell someone else they had a great time. We want to keep building the meet and building the reputation of it.”
The Big Seven Conference meet is next on the agenda for the Science Hill and Daniel Boone athletes. It is set for Thursday and Friday at Dobyns-Bennett.
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