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MURFREESBORO — Devon Wade and Kyle Greene aren’t related. They’re not even from the same school. Still, the two are like brothers when it comes to competition.
Wade, a senior from University High, cleared 14 feet on Friday to repeat as the Class A/AA pole vault winner at the TSSAA boys’ state track and field championships on Friday at Middle Tennessee State University.
Right behind him was Unicoi County’s Greene, who finished second in the competition last season, and whose mark of 13-feet-6, tied Chris Charles of CPA for the second-best height.
Wade explained he and Greene benefit from their competition with each other. The week before the state meet, Greene won the East Tennessee sectional meet with Wade in second.
“It’s almost like a sibling rivalry,” Wade said. “We love to vault with each other, but we hate to lose to each other. It’s definitely been great because we have each other to push. If one goes over 13 feet, it’s like, ‘Follow me over.’ It’s back and forth the whole way.
“I’ve really been blessed to have someone like Kyle to jump with. It’s nice to have someone to train with, to push yourself with and just to have fun with.”
It resulted in the back-to-back state championships for Wade, whose height was a foot and a half better than his 2012 mark.
“This year has been phenomenal,” Wade said. “Last year, I was sick as a dog, but this year I felt great.”
Greene said he couldn’t think of anyone who deserved the title more than Wade.
“It shows off in the end who works the hardest,” Greene said. “I work pretty hard myself, but Devon works all the time.”
Still, it’s been a senior season to remember for Greene, who hit 14-2 at one point this season, and broke Jerry Huskins’ four-decade school record at Unicoi County.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that I have the new school record,” Greene said. “It’s an honor breaking a 40-year-old record. It gave me the confidence to make it all the way to state again. This year, my senior year, I wanted to have fun, have the best time possible. I enjoyed every second of this year.”
Gabe Simerly added a fourth-place finish for the Blue Devils in the 300-meter hurdles. He ran 41.06, passing a couple of runners in the final 100 meters.
Elizabethton senior Nikolai Simpson finished among the state’s best in a couple of throwing events.
He was fifth in the discus with a heave of 134-7, and was sixth in the shot put at 45-1.
“It wasn’t my best and it wasn’t my worst,” Simpson said. “But, I sure would have liked to have thrown better. I felt good going into the preliminaries. It just seemed like when I let it go, it wasn’t going anywhere.”
Also from the Class A/AA girls’ meet on the previous day, University High’s Eliza Gillespie placed sixth (33-11) in the girls’ triple jump.