Johnson City Press: Ballad Health/ Relays set to renew Friday

Ballad Health/ Relays set to renew Friday

Tanner Cook • Updated May 4, 2018 at 10:04 AM

Like a hungry man at an “All You Can Eat” buffet bar, there will be one serving of everything at the Ballad Health/ Relays track meet on Friday evening at Dobyns-Bennett High School. The meet brings together the cream of the crop with the top eight competitors from both Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

The first events are slated to begin at 4 p.m.

The following is a preview of events according to the last checklist on Thursday evening.


High Jump: Lily Griffith of Dobyns-Bennett and Madison Cowan of Sullivan South come into the meet with the same mark of 5 feet, 4 inches. The Tribe also has Hannah Watson in third at 5 feet, 2 inches.

Pole Vault: Caitlin Cutshall of Daniel Boone comes in with the best clearance of 10 feet, 6 inches. She is six inches clear of her next competitor, Julia Harr of Science Hill.

Long Jump: Cowan again comes into the competition with the best mark for the Lady Rebels at 17 feet, 9.5 inches. She has one of the better cushions in terms of distance in the entire field event circuit, having nearly a foot and a half lead over Karina Palomino of David Crockett.

Triple Jump: It looks to be an all-Virginia show in the girls triple jump with Bryce Poole of Rural Retreat leading the way by nearly three feet over Maggie Buchanan of Patrick Henry. Virginia has the top four entries in the event.

Shot Put: Jasmine Roberts of Elizabethton headlines the field as she comes in with the best mark for the Lady Cyclones. Stephanie Whitfield of Wise Central trails her by over a foot, but look for the competition to heat up. Michelle Morris of Abingdon will also look to be in contention.

Discus: Washington County (Va.) has the top three entries, with Casey Quillen and Abigail Belcher of Patrick Henry sandwiching Morris on either side. Camryn Koroma of Elizabethton comes in at fifth while Courtney Whitson of D-B is seeded sixth.


100 meters: Mary Reed of Science Hill comes in as the fastest seed at 12.86 seconds, but she is closely followed by Cornerstone Christian Academy’s Sarah Cornett at 12.91. It will be a close battle to determine who is the fastest girl in the area as the top eight entries are within half a second of each other.

200 meters: It will almost be the same show in the 200 as the 100 with Cornett and Reed as the top two seeds, but they are flip-flopped in the longer event. Ellie Massengill comes in as the fourth seed at 27.12 for Tennessee High.

400 meters: Cornett again comes in as the top seed at 1:00.22 as she will look to take on a tough sprinting triple. Patricia Chellah of Daniel Boone comes in second, just a little over a second behind.

100-meter hurdles: Whitney Christian of Volunteer looks to build off her Big 7 Conference title in the event from last week. She enters as the top seed at 16.16 seconds. Lydia Blair-James of J.I. Burton will look to give her a run as she comes in at second with a 16.82 performance earlier this season.

300-meter hurdles: Christian again comes in with the top time for the Lady Falcons by nearly three seconds (47.62 seconds) and hopes to cruise into the postseason. Jacqueline Hirst of Science Hill is slated as the second seed at 50.50 seconds.


800 meters: The two-lap race for the girls will arguably be one of the most exciting events of the meet as Katy Neubert of Science Hill and Daniel Boone’s Maria Chellah are separated by less than a half second. The race might come down to whoever has the fastest closing 100-meter speed. Bekah Owen of University High is in third position at 2:25.23.

1,600 meters: Breanna Roy of Crockett exhibits the fastest performance at 5:19.59, but D-B’s Emma Russum will challenge Roy on her home track with the crowd behind her. Russum is listed as four seconds back, but she has had a strong season for the Tribe so far.

3,200 meters: It will likely be a cake walk for D-B’s Sasha Neglia as she looks to continue her march towards the state championships later this month. She comes in with the top time of 10:45, nearly a minute and a half over her next competitor. Behind Neglia will be a load of girls jockeying for position as second thru sixth are within 11 seconds of each other.


400-meter relay: The Volunteer Falcons fly into the competition with the best time at 51.28 seconds. Science Hill is seeded second at 51.60 while Sullivan South is third at 51.68. It figures to tight in the final turn and will be a close race for fourth through eighth.

800-meter relay: Science Hill and Tennessee High are separated by .66 seconds and it could get interesting down the final stretches of the race. Volunteer is seeded third.

1,600-meter relay: The classic rivalry of D-B and Science Hill will present the track version as the Lady Indians and Lady Hilltoppers come in as the top two seeds, separated by .72 seconds. Boone comes in at third, a little over three seconds behind the top two teams.

3,200-meter relay: The Lady Indians presently have the best time (9:49.75) and will likely have Sasha Neglia on the relay to help try to bring home a win. They are closely followed by Daniel Boone at 9:53.92. The Lady ’Toppers will be right in the mix as well, sitting third at 10:00.38.


High Jump: Tanner Henry of D-B barely missed his final two attempts at 6 feet, 6 inches last week at conference, but he still harbors the top clearance of 6 feet, 5 inches from the Volunteer Track Classic. Malachi Thomas of Chilhowie and D-B’s Samuel Cleek are tied for second at 6-2. Avery Jenkins of Union is currently fourth at 6 feet, 1 inch.

Pole Vault: William Peterson should have an easy going in the pole vault as he is listed over a foot clear of Moses Coley of University High. Devin McKenna of Daniel Boone is actually tied with Coley for second at a clearance of 12 feet.

Long Jump: Austin Faris of Patrick Henry comes in with the top leap of 21 feet, 2.5 inches, but he is closely followed by Jake Davis of Thomas Walker, who is listed at 21 feet even.

Triple Jump: Connor Buchanan, who was one of the driving forces behind Patrick Henry’s Virginia indoor state title back in March, headlines the field with the top leap of 44 feet, 10.2 inches. Buchanan is also looking to put on a show for the Rebels on the track. Kai Norman of Happy Valley is the second seed at 42-7.

Shot put: Justin Barnett of Union leads a parade of Virginia entries as he bolsters a best throw of 50 feet, 1.5 inches. Gate City’s Michael Calhoun is seeded second at 48-8.

Discus: Richard Landry of Volunteer leads the field with a throw of 139 feet, 4 inches, with Jeremiah Sullivan of Boone following in second at 135-5. The top seven entries are all within 10 feet of each other, so it could be anyone’s podium.


100 meters: The top two entries belong to Patrick Henry’s Jackson Cruise (10.99 seconds) and Buchanan (11.02). D-B’s Jeamy Williams will look to seize the title of fastest in the area on his home track, coming in seeded third at 11.04.

200 meters: Buchanan owns the top entry at 22.06, but Williams is .05 seconds behind at 22.11. The top five entries should be close as they are all seeded under 23 seconds.

400 meters: Union’s Dakota Owens has been on a tear in Southwest Virginia and will look to keep his outstanding season going as he sports the top time (51.39 seconds). Noah Osborne of Tennessee High and Volunteer’s Andrew Murph aim to spoil the party as they are seeded second and third, respectively.

110-meter hurdles: The Tj Patton show will look to roll on as the Science Hill hurdler has seemingly won everything this spring. He enters at nearly a half second better than the next competitor. After the top two, it will be a logjam for third through eighth, with everyone within a half second.

300-meter hurdles: PH’s Faris is the top seed in the event at 40.69 seconds, leading J.I. Burton’s Austin Lane by just under a second on paper. Tyler Tesnar of D-B is seeded third.


800 meters: Science Hill’s Jeb Jones comes in with the only time under two minutes (1:58.38) and seeks to take control of the race fairly early, as he usually does. The junior put on quite a show last week at conference, sweeping the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter titles in hard-finishing style.

1,600 meters: PH’s Gavin Grossman has a comfortable cushion on paper, nearly 10 seconds ahead of his closest competitor in Cornerstone’s Elijah Chapman.

3,200 meters: Abingdon’s Karl Thiessen — a four-time state champion in Virginia — does not look to have much competition on paper as he is the only runner under 10 minutes (9:40). Porter Bradley of University is second at 10:00.37.


400-meter relay: Science Hill leads the competition with a clocking of 43.58 seconds, but watch out for Union as the Bears set a new school record of 43.79 just two weeks ago.

800-meter relay: Science Hill again leads the way as the ’Toppers have a two-second gap over Sullivan East in second position. Volunteer is seeded third.

1,600-meter relay: D-B leads a quick field at 3:28.72 for the final event of the day as the first four teams are all under 3:40.

3,200-meter relay: The Daniel Boone Trailblazers look to light up the track as they did in last week’s conference win. They come in with the top time of 8:29.22 while D-B and Volunteer, in second and third, respectively, trail Boone by wide margins.

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