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'Toppers relay team sets record in Tri-Cities Track Classic

April 18th, 2014 10:09 pm by Jeff Birchfield

'Toppers relay team sets record in Tri-Cities Track Classic

Science Hill's Alex Crigger clears the hurdle in the steeplechase.

The Science Hill girls’ distance medley relay team flirted with a school record at a recent track meet.

The group of Alicia DeVos, Annika Burley, Halle Hausman and Sarah Fickley finished at 12:33.50 and shattered the old mark by 18 seconds Friday night in the Tri-Cities Track Classic at Kermit Tipton Stadium.

“It’s pretty exciting,” DeVos said. “It’s what we were going for today. We’re happy we were able to do it.”

While the DMR is not contended at the state meet, DeVos believes the performance in that race will help the Hilltoppers’ efforts in the 4x800 later this season.

“All of the parts we were running were longer than 800, so it’s good practice for it” DeVos said.

Daniel Boone’s DMR team of Josh Routh, Ashton Wilson, Connor Loyd and Nic Roth finished fourth in their race, one spot ahead of the Science Hill boys’ team of Noah Charles, Jonathan Spitznas, Keaton Parr and Alex Crigger.

It was the second race of the evening for Crigger, a freshman for the Hilltoppers. He had never run the 2,000 steeplechase before a Thursday practice. He immediately fell in love with the event and won the race’s second heat with his time of 6:40 was good enough for fourth-place overall.

“Awesome, it was awesome,” said an excited Crigger after finishing the race. “It’s just a completely different race. You’ve got hurdles, you’ve got endurance. The biggest challenge is the hurdles, just making sure you get over them.”

Daniel Boone’s Mitch Bronstetter finished 13 seconds behind Crigger to post a seventh-place finish.

Katie Lance finished second overall in the girls’ side of the event, ending her race at 7:53. 

Other top finishes included the Elizabethton 4x200 girls’ relay team winning its heat with a time of 1:45.52, their fastest time of the year.

Katie May opened the race for the Lady Cyclones, and Mandi Largent ran the second leg. Kira McCrary moved from fifth to second before anchor leg Autumn Thomas quickly moved out front and pulled away at the finish.

“I felt like after I got the baton from Kira, I could take care of the rest,” Thomas said. “I feel if I get a good lead, I can keep a good lead.”

Thomas was also encouraged to win the race against top relay teams from Tennessee High and Science Hill among others.

“We really want to go to the state with this team and we think we can,” Thomas said. “We just have to keep working hard in practice. We always have pretty good hand-offs. We practice two times a week before a meet and during the meet.”

The Happy Valley boys’ shuttle hurdle relay team of Brian Sehrer, Chance Peters, Christian Durocher and William Luster finished fourth, the same position which the Science Hill quartet of Emma Owens, Hannah Hubert, Julia Price and Mandy Stallard finished on the girls’ side.

Other top finishes for the Hilltoppers included Khiry Halim going 42-09.75 to finish fourth in the boys’ triple jump and Hausman placing fifth in the two-mile.

Jarrod Smith of University High hit 12-06 in the pole vault and David Merrick of Daniel Boone finished right behind him by clearing 12 feet.

Day two of the meet starts today at 8:30 a.m. with the girls’ 100 meter hurdles. Field events start at 9 a.m., while running finals begin at 1:15 p.m.

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