Is it possible that M.L. King can sweep boys and girls titles next month at the state Class A/AA track championships?
It seems so. The boys, after all, are the defending state champions.
The girls, who finished second year ago, served notice of their potential for this year when they became the first Nashville public school (girls) to win the 24th annual Doug Hall Relays championship since 1993 (Hillwood). They finished with 93 points on the MBA track, far ahead of runner-up Brentwood Academy, 60.
Sophomore Amia Butler was named the Most Outstanding Girl of the meet after she was part of the winning high jump unit, a record-setting long jump, the winning shuttle hurdle relay team and the second-place 4x200 relay. Yet the sophomore was just one of a talented group of Royals.
“This is a little overwhelming,” she said. “We started out a little slow, but then we won the long jump event and did well in the 4x200.
“We are really looking forward to state. We barely lost (80-77) to Chattanooga Howard last year. They (Howard) lost a lot of girls, and we have most of our team back.”
Senior Kirstin Jones put an emphatic stamp on the MLK title when she ran a spectacular anchor leg (56.49 seconds) on the winning 4x400 relay. She came from 20 meters behind to deliver the victory.
Ben Tankard, a standout hurdler, jumper and sprinter who won both state hurdle events last year, led the MLK boys to second at the Doug Hall Relays. They finished a close second to MBA (80½ to 69).
“We are very optimistic,” 10th year MLK boys coach Stephen Dorris said. “We have a lot of depth, strength and diversity in several events.”
MBA jumped in front when it won the shuttle hurdles relays with a group of senior Ryan Venable, junior Hampton Farr and sophomore Bryan Oslin. It capped its win with a strong anchor leg by David Dalton in the sprint medley.
“It’s special to win that event, it’s something we always do pretty well in,” Oslin who came back from an ankle injury, said. “It was my only chance to win with these guys since Ryan is a senior.”
Ensworth distance runner Garrett Carmichael was named the Most Outstanding Boy. He was part of two meet records – the 4x1600 and distance medley relays – as well part of as the winning 4x800 quartet.
MBA Coach Robert Pruitt, whose team won its third straight Hall team championship and 12th overall, was also looking forward to state but knows it will be a challenge.
“We are well behind MUS (for the DII team title), McCallie is very good too,” he said.
Other highlights at Hall Relays
• Ensworth finished third behind MLK and Brentwood Academy in the girls division on the strength of Sarah Delozier in the distance events. She was on the winning 4x1600 team, coming from far behind on the anchor leg, anchored the winning distance medley relay and was second in the 4x800.
“I ran well in both races,” she said. “I want our team to keep working hard each day, and if we do, we’ll be really strong by the time we get to state.”
• In the day’s final event, Antioch sophomore Quamel Prince was 20 meters behind two runners when he took the handoff on the final leg of the 4x400, but he raced to victory. Just after the race, he was mobbed by teammates who celebrated with several chest bumps among each other. Antioch was fifth in both boys and girls divisions.
• The Ensworth trio of Sam Cooper, Antonio Richardson and Calvin Settles obliterated the two-year old discus relay record. Their combined 450 feet ws about 35 feet more than the old mark.
• Brentwood’s Steve Wade had a personal best in both the shot put and discus.
• Antioch’s Keirdra Jackson and Brittany Scott were both part of the winning 4x100 and 4x200 teams and the runner-up 4x400 unit.
• Several outstanding participants missed the meet, including star Hillsboro sprinter Tyler Anderson and Hunters Lane thrower Mychelle Cummings. Both competed at the Vol Classic in Knoxville the same day.
MLK’s Jade Wilkerson was the Hall scholarship winner, qualifying for the $500 gift to attend Vanderbilt.
Middle Tennessee A-AA meet at Lipscomb
The next big A/AA track and field meet – the Midstate A/AA pentathlon-decathlon meet – will be at the Lipscomb track May 3-4.
The pentathlon and first five events of the decathlon will be that Monday, followed by the final five events of the decathlon Tuesday.
M.L King will be favored in the A/AA Sub-Sectional meet will be held May 11 with the East segment hosted by M.L. King and West segment hosted by Lipscomb (field events and some running events, followed by the running event finals May 13.
The Section field event finals will be held at Lipscomb Tuesday, May 18, followed by Section event finals Thursday, May 20 at Lipscomb. Top finishers in the Section meet qualify for state at MTSU.
The City meet will again be at Harpeth Hall Tuesday and Wednesday (field event finals) and Friday night (running event finals).
Carter Tennis tournament Friday-Saturday
The annual Carter Memorial tournament, one of the most prestigious high school tennis events in Nashville, will be held Friday and Saturday on the MBA courts.
The event begins Friday morning with first and second-round singles, followed by first-round doubles. The event concludes with singles finals, beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, followed by doubles.
McGill named to Metro Hall of Fame
Former Antioch, Maplewood and Hillsboro High girls basketball coach LeMore McGill was one of several people inducted into the Metro Nashville Interscholastic Basketball Association Hall of Fame last week at a dinner at Springhouse Golf course banquet room.
McGill, who is undergoing dialysis treatments, spent the past season helping his son LeBrian, coach the Hunters Lane girls team the past season. Prior to that he spent five seasons coaching at Hillsboro.
Also inducted were former Glencliff principal Sammy Swor, while Dr. Kurt Spindler, Jack Boone, Merideth Cooper, Mitch Bellamy of Vanderbilt Sports Medicine, Mike Combs of Coca-Cola and Metro Athletic Office long-time secretary Mary Hill, all were named as named as contributors.
In addition to MBA star and state tournament MVP Holden Mobley committing to Belmont for basketball, some of last week’s Nashville area signings included:
Girls Basketball: Sharonda Brabson (East Lit) to Vol State CC; Jalesa Lee and Aesha Randolph (both of Whites Creek) to Walters State CC; Jalisa Mosby, Pope JPII to Motlow State CC.
Baseball: Christian Little (McGavock) to Columbia State; Jackson Roberts (MBA) to Rhodes College.
Softball: Heather Shuler (Ravenwood) to Trevecca Nazarene.
Girls Soccer: Aubrey Black (Independence) to Trevecca Nazarene; Ashley Rolen (McGavock) to Cumberland.
Boys Soccer: Blake Farmer (Independence) to Carson-Newman; Nick Dykes (Independence) to ETSU.
Volleyball: Gabby Cheij (St. Cecilia) to Mount Olive College (N.C.).
Golf: Taylor Dreps (CPA) to LMU.
Lacrosse: Matt Bracy (MBA) to Whittier; George Curtis (MBA) to Middlebury; Alex Baird (Ravenwood) to Mercer; C.J. Shane (Ravenwood) to Mars Hill (N.C.).
Tennis: Roger Briggs (MBA) to Vanderbilt and Naveen Chadalaveda (MBA) to Washington.
Track and Field: Jaz Davis (Hunters Lane) to Memphis; Blake Edwards (ML King) to Boston Uuniversity.
Football: Keith Blanton (Goodpasture) to Lambuth; Stephon Dawson (Goodpasture) to Carson-Newman; Christian Dobbs (Overton) to Olivet (Ill.); Tim Harris (Centennial) to Olivet (Ill.); Colton Parker (Centennial) to Olivet (Ill.); Austin Johnson (Brentwood) to Austin Peay; A.J. Parker (Davidson Academy) to Carson-Newman.