Patton, Jones lead Hilltoppers at state meet

Jeff Birchfield • May 24, 2018 at 9:43 PM

MURFREESBORO — TJ Patton earned all-state honors in three events and Jeb Jones was all-state in two to lead the Science Hill track and field team at the TSSAA Large Schools state championships Thursday at Middle Tennessee State University.

Patton finished third in the 110-meter hurdles at 14.52, was seventh in the 200-meter dash and also was seventh as part of the Hilltoppers' 4x200 relay team, along with Caleb Duncan, Kendall Williams and Akshay Bakshi.

As a senior, Patton was thrilled to have one of his best all-around performances at his final high school meet.

"I was seeded fifth in the hurdles and to be able to come out here and place third, it feels great," Patton said. "There are a lot of fast kids down here, but it's been a good season. The first couple of years, there were times I wanted to quit. But, I'm glad I stuck it out and had that determination."

There was also no quit in Jones, who went all out in the 1,600 to finish third at 4:15.14, and later placed eighth at 1:57.02 in the 800 for his pair of medals. William Peterson added another all-state performance by going 14 feet high to finish fourth in a tough pole vault competition.

"I really wanted to go out and put myself in the race today," Jones said about going out fast in the 1,600. "I was trying to hang with (state champion Jake) Renfree (of Knox Catholic), but he broke me. That's all right. It definitely pushed me. I just wanted to make sure I left it all out there."

Daniel Boone middle distance runner Maria Chellah was all-state in two different events. She finished third in the 800 at 2:17.57 and was the anchor leg on the 4x800 relay team, which finished in 9:43 and included her sisters Judy, Patricia, and their friend Marley McCoy.

"It's been a great experience for all of us," Maria Chellah said. "I'm so proud of our hard work, our training and all we've done together. That anchor leg in the 4x800 was amazing to have all the girls pushing me to go my fastest speed."

Science Hill's 4x800 team of Kyley Carlsen, Paige Carlsen, Gabrielle Mardis and Katy Neubert finished sixth and also earned all-state honors. Paige Carlsen and Neubert were also part of the 4x400 relay team — which included Lindsey Taylor and Mary Reed — that also made all-state. Reed was also all-state in two events, finishing eighth at 17-feet-8 in the triple jump.

Daniel Boone junior Caitlin Cutshall earned all-state recognition for a second straight year in the pole vault and despite being six inches lower than her personal best, improved one spot from the previous year.

"I've gone 10-6 before, so it was a little under my p.r.," Cutshall said. "But to finish third in the state, that feels pretty good because I was nervous coming in. Boone has definitely come a long way in field events."

Elizabethton’s Camryn Koroma finished fourth in the girls’ discus with a throw of 111 feet.

Among the other local athletes, Dobyns-Bennett's Sasha Neglia won the girls' 1,600 and finished second in the 3,200. Sullivan South's Madison Cowan was runner-up in both the triple jump and high jump, and also finished all-state in the long jump.

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