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Records, gold pour into Northeast Tennessee at Ballad Health/TriCitiesSports.com Relays

Tanner Cook • Updated May 5, 2018 at 12:01 AM

KINGSPORT — It was quite a show on Friday night at the 40th annual Ballad Health/TriCitiesSports.com Relays at Dobyns-Bennett High School. There were outstanding performances across the board, with five meet records established.

D-B’s legendary hurdler and school-record holder “Scat” Springs even made an appearance on his home track. Springs was a two-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles in 1978-79 and ran track at Appalachian State.

He went on to have a 30-year career singing country music in Nashville and around the world before suffering a stroke in January 2017. Springs is doing much better now, he said, nearly a year and a half after the travesty.

Tj Patton of Science Hill beat last year’s meet record by running 14.50 in the 110 hurdles. He also doubled back to win help the Hilltoppers win the 4x200 relay and he capped off his night by winning the 200 in 21.84, also a meet record.

“It was a great day. I knew that coming out of school that I have two or three meets left, so I have to give it my all,” he said. “Coach Peters has been there every step of the way and so has Coach Annie all four years, even though she went back to college. But Coach Jones has been there ever since the first day of track. He just pushes us so much to be our best and that’s helped me get to where I am today.”

The ’Toppers came home with both of the male outstanding performances as William Peterson successfully cleared 14 feet, 1 inch in the pole vault to eclipse the previous meet record of 14 feet even. He also set the Science Hill school record in the process.

“It feels amazing and I was just relieved that I got the record,” he said. “It feels great and I am very happy.”

D-B’s Natalie Donahue also gained a meet record in the pole vault with an effort of 10-7, which surpassed the old mark by an inch. She earned the most outstanding performance in the field events.

Daniel Boone’s Maria Chellah did not set a meet record in the 800, but she did run one of the fastest times ever in the history of Northeast Tennessee by crossing the line in 2:18.69. She took home one of the two most outstanding performances on the track.

“I went out with a high goal for today’s meet. I knew I wanted to run fast,” she said. “I wanted to back up my fast indoor race with an outdoor race. I went out with the mindset of going hard. Practice this week was difficult, but it paid off.”

The second most outstanding performance on the women’s side went to D-B’s Sasha Neglia in the 3,200. Finishing in 10:41.20, she lapped the field and shattered the meet record of 11:16 set by Whitney Jessee (John Battle) way back in 1986.

On the Northeast Tennessee side, Camryn Koroma of Elizabethton won the girls shot put with a throw of 33-9.

Madison Cowan of Sullivan South pulled off a double win in the girls triple jump and long jump. D-B’s Lily Griffith won the high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 4 inches.

Volunteer’s Whitney Christian paced the 100 hurdles with ease in 16.20 seconds. Furthermore, she won the 300 hurdles in 47.62.

Breanna Roy of David Crockett took home the 1,600 title in 5:15.10.

D-B was able to nab the 4x400 and 4x800 relay crowns while Volunteer got the 4x100 and Tennessee High ruled the 4x200.

From across the border in Southwest Virginia, Sarah Cornett of Cornerstone Christian Academy won the 100 meters and 400. Patrick Henry’s Maggie Buchanan captured the 200 in 26.38. Michelle Morris got the lone field event win for Abingdon in the girls discus with a throw of 114-1.

On the boys side in Northeast Tennessee, other winners included D-B’s Aziz Dunn in long jump (19-3.50) and Tanner Henry in high jump (6-4).

D-B’s Jeamy Williams won the 100 in 10.95 seconds and it was in convincing fashion.

Jeb Jones of Science Hill raced a gutsy 800 by opening up in 55 seconds, which was right on pace to break the meet record held by Sullivan East’s Chuck Brown (1:54.0). Jones fell short of the mark, but still won in 1:57.08.

D-B nabbed the 4x400 relay while Science Hill won the 4x100 and 4x200. Daniel Boone prevailed in the 4x800.

Union racked up four of the seven wins for Southwest Virginia by getting Justin Barnett to sweep the discus (142-0) and shot put (49-0). Dakota Owens won the 400 (51.46) and Avery Jenkins won the 300 hurdles (41.30).

The other winners for Southwest Virginia were Abingdon’s Karl Thiessen in the 3,200 (9:31.73), Gavin Grossman of Patrick Henry in the 1,600 (4:32.98) and J.I. Burton’s Austin Lane in the triple jump (42-10).

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