The Daniel Boone Distance Medley Relay team had a performance to remember at the Tri-Cities Track Classic on Friday evening at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
Chad Whitehead and Ashton Wilson pushed the Trailblazers out to a big lead. Jordan Roth and Adam Barnard then maintained the advantage as all four Boone runners had personal bests.
The final result was a time of 10:29, six seconds ahead of runner-up Hardin Valley and 13 seconds of third-place Dobyns-Bennett. The mark shattered a Boone school record by 20 seconds.
“They wanted it and went after it,” Boone head coach Len Jeffers said. “You can’t take records out of relay splits, but all four ran a personal record. For all four to have a p.r. split and do it the way they did it, it says a lot about these young men, their work ethic and determination. They got out there and pushed it.”
Although the DMR isn’t contested at the TSSAA state championships, the boys may compete in the event at the New Balance Nationals in North Carolina after the high school season is over.
“We know we don’t run this anymore unless we go this sumer, but this is a big boost to their confidence,” Jeffers said. “It helps them in their opening events as well as the 4x800 relay, especially racing and winning against this field.”
Molly Foster of Science Hill had her own dominating performance in the girls’ 3,200-meter run. She jumped out to a big lead at the start and never looked back. She finished the 2-mile run in 10:59, some 41 seconds ahead of second-place Sarah Zimmer of CAK.
“My coach told me the splits I needed to hit every 200 (meters),” Foster said. “I had people yelling at me the whole time and it helped me a lot. I just got it through my head that I had to suck it up and run as fast as I could.”
Foster faced tough conditions, running by herself and against the wind. Signed to run next season for Belmont, the Science Hill senior has made a few changes to her workout routine in recent months.
“When I’ve been training, I try to do some workouts by myself,” Foster said. “I’ve been trying to see how much I can push myself because in these types of races, it’s hard to run by yourself. It’s gotten easier as I’ve gotten used to it, forgetting that no one else is around you and to just run.”
Sarah Fickley, her Lady ’Topper teammate, finished the race in 12 minutes, good for a fourth-place finish.
Science Hill kicked off the two-day event with the girls’ 2,000-meter steeplechase.
Emily Nagy, Anna Cade and Courtney Keith finished second, third and fourth behind Hannah Rhodes of Greeneville in the event..
Usually focused on serious competition, this race was more about having fun. All three are normally distance runners, but the steeplechase also features a number of hurdles as well as going through a water obstacle.
“It was kind of scary because I don’t do hurdles,” Nagy said after finishing with a time of 9:18. “Frankly, I’m not very good at them. I had to step on them every single time. Splashing in the water was cold and kind of embarassing, but we all had fun.”
Cade was 17 seconds behind her in third, and Keith finished another 18 seconds back. Both enjoyed competing in an event out of the norm.
“I thought it was really fun being in the water and splashing around in it,” Cade said. “It was different instead of just running around on the track. We thought the steeple would be lower so we practiced on that, but nobody really knew what was going to happen.”
Keith added, “I’m not a jumper so I wasn’t ready for that. It was different, though, and it was a nice change from the typical running in circles.”
Kayla Lyons of Elizabethton rounded out the top five.
Next up was the boys’ 2,000 steeplechase, where Josh Simpson of Science Hill posted a fifth-place finish.
The running events followed with Science Hill’s girls’ 4x200 relay team of Sasha Chin, Aaliyah Brown, Emanda Reid and Monique Story taking third-place at 1:52.84 behind teams from Dobyns-Bennett and Hardin Valley.
Elizabethton’s quartet of Mandi Largent, Kyra McCrary, Whitney Roberts and Autumn Thomas was fourth, nearly two seconds behind the Lady ’Toppers.
In the girls’ DMR, Science Hill’s team of Olivia Greeley, Hannah Hausman, Courtney Keith and Katie Lance finished fourth, one spot ahead of University High’s group of Alisha Elliott, Megan Lee, Carly Owen and Taylor Rice.
The final event of the evening as the boys’ 2-mile run. Wes Pectol of Greeneville was second at 9:44 and Roderick Bowman of Daniel Boone was fourth at 9:56.
Day two of the meet starts today at 8:30 a.m. with prelims for the girls’ 110 hurdles. Field events start at 9 a.m. with finals in running events to begin at 12:45 p.m.