MURFREESBORO — Martha McCoy and Molly Foster capped off two of the most celebrated track careers in recent Science Hill history with a pair of fifth-place finishes in their final high school races.
McCoy was fifth in the Class AAA 800-meter run at a time of 2:19, and Foster finished fifth (5:12) in the 1,600 at the TSSAA girls state track and field championships at Middle Tenneseee State University.
It came after the two rallied the 4x800 meter relay team from a dropped baton at the start to a sixth-place finish.
“The 4x800 wasn’t great and the 800 wasn’t either,” McCoy said. “But as a whole, I feel good about it. I wish I would have run even better in the 4x800, but I felt better in the 800 at the end.”
Foster also posted a third-place finish in the girls’ Class AAA 3,200 meters, finishing with a time of 10:52.
After the relay which also included Alicia DeVos and Sarah Fickle, she had a quick turnaround. It was just two events later when Foster competed in the 1,600 which quickly turned physical.
“It was the most stressful race I’ve ever been in,” Foster said. “I got tripped so many times. It was just a race to the bell, one of those where you give it all you’ve got.”
She didn’t think the race being so physical was intentional, just a result of close, hard racing.
“It’s just trying to get your spot,” she said. “You have to do what you whatever you have to. You’re getting pushed around and I’m sure I stepped on some people and elbowed them too. I almost fell down the second lap.”
Emily Holtsclaw of Happy Valley finished third in the Class A/AA pole vault with a personal best 9-feet, good enough for a new school record. Lady Warrior teammate Kaitlyn Simerly finished eighth in the event.
“It was the way I wanted to finish my senior year,” Holtsclaw said. “I wanted to break the record and finish all-state. I just thank God for the opportunity to come down here and perform to the best of my ability today.”
Holtsclaw, who attended Hampton but competed in track for Happy Valley the same as Jonathan Lyons seven years ago, talked about representing both Carter County schools.
“I feel like I’m part of both schools that both love me,” Holtsclaw said. “I feel more like Happy Valleian more than ever before because all I’ve been doing lately is track. When you’re a part of both schools, you feel a little pressure to make them both proud.”
She hit 7-feet on her first attempt and did so on every six-inch increment up to 9-foot . It was a welcome performance after she had trouble on early attempts at the sectional meet.
“That kind of helped me for this week,” she said. “I was able to keep level-headed and remain calm. When you come down here, you’re the top eight in the state. So, I came down and decided I was going to have fun. I did that and just waited to see what happened.”
The Elizabethton 4x400 relay team of Katie May, Mandy Largent, Whitney Roberts and Kara McCrary also matched the finish with a third in the last race of the evening. For Roberts, it was her second time in Murfreesboro over the past three months. She was also part of the girls’ basketball team which made the state tournament.
“I’m very blessed as a senior to come down here twice,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for these ladies. The staggered start, the first two have some of the toughest jobs of keeping everything on track. Then, our anchor had a tough job, trying to make sure no one passed her. We did extremely well tonight and I’m so proud of my team.”
Dobyns-Bennett’s Adriana Watkins led the Tri-Cities efforts with a win in the Class AAA triple jump at 38-0 1/4. The Lady Indians finished second overall in the team competition, finishing 61-51 behind Clarksville Northwest.
Among the other individual efforts, Ashlee Mitchell of Tennessee High 37-09 1/4 finished second in the Class AAA shot put with Dobyns-Bennett’s Krystall Derr in fourth. Molly Smith placed fourth in the Class AAA 800 race, one spot ahead of McCoy.
Sullivan East sophomore Haley Roe was third in the Class A/AA discus, one spot ahead of her older sister, Autumn Roe.
McCoy summed up the season for herself and many of the top finishers, as well the celebrated high school careers of herself and Foster.
“It’s been fun, a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s always been fun and the state meet is always the pinnacle of it.”