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Bragging rights on line at Ballad Health Relays

By TANNER COOK • May 3, 2018 at 10:16 PM

KINGSPORT — 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 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 the event in third at 5 feet, 2 inches.

Pole Vault: Caitlin Cutshall of Daniel Boone come 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, Virginia ,has the top three entries, with Casey Quillen and Abigail Belcher of Patrick Henry sandwiching Morris. 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 a half-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 will look to build off of her Big 7 conference title in the event from last week when she arrives at the meet on Friday. She comes in 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 will look 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 with Katy Neubert of Science Hill and Maria Chellah of Daniel Boone 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 comes in at third position in 2:25.23.

1600 meters: Breanna Roy of Crockett comes in with the fastest performance with 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.

3200 meters: It will likely be a cake walk for D-B’s Sasha Neglia as she looks to continue her march toward 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 will get 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.

1600 meter relay: The classic rivalry of D-B and Science Hill will see the track version as the Lady Indians and Lady Hilltoppers come in as the top two seeds, separated by .72 seconds. Boone comes in third, a little over three seconds behind the top two teams.

3200 meter relay: The Lady Indians have the best time coming in (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 comes in with 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 feet, 2 inches. 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 feet, 7 inches.

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 feet, 8 inches.

Discus: Richard Landry of Volunteer leads the field with a throw of 139 feet, 4 inches coming in with Jeremiah Sullivan of Boone following in second at 135 feet, 5 inches. 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 comes in with the top entry at 22.06, but Williams is .05 seconds behind at 22.11. The top five entries will all 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 comes in with the top time of 51.39 seconds. Noah Osborne of Tennessee High and Volunteer’s Andrew Murph will look 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 comes in nearly a half-second better than the next competitor. After the top two, it will be a log jam for third through eighth with everyone within a half second.

300 meter hurdles: Patrick Henry’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 will look 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.

1600 meters: Patrick Henry’s Gavin Grossman has a comfortable cushion on paper, nearly 10 seconds ahead of his closest competitor in Cornerstone’s Elijah Chapman.

3200 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, seeded at 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.

1600 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.

3200 meter relay: The Daniel Boone Trailblazers will look to light the track up as they did at conference last week in the win as they come in with the top time of 8:29.22. D-B and Volunteer both trail Boone in second and third by wide margins.

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