Preps: Big finish carries East Nashville's Curbeam to state pentathlon crown

Monday, May 20, 2013 at 10:45pm

MURFREESBORO — It took until the last event but Jada Curbeam finally won the state pentathlon — and joined some good company.

A strong performance in the final event, the 800-meter run, the East Nashville Magnet senior overtook rival T'Kesha Hagans, a Maplewood senior, and captured the BlueCross state girls Class A/AA state pentathlon Monday afternoon at the MTSU track.

Curbeam joined former teammate Kanellar Carney who won the A/AA state pentathlon two straight years, 2010-2011.

Curbeam, who has signed with Prairie View A&M, finished second to Hagans in the 100 hurdles, but won the long jump and tied for first in the high jump. Going into the final event, she trailed Hagans by 31 points, which meant she had to finish in front by about 25-30 meters.

"I guess it was the right time,'' she said after receiving her medal atop the victory stand. "I was nervous after the long jump, but I had a good run in the 800.''

The 5-foot-4 athlete finished a solid 50 meters ahead of Hagans, who slipped to third behind Laura Morse of Christian Academy of Knoxville. Curbeam had 3,055 points, while Morse had 3,003 and Hagans finished with 2,953.

Although she didn't record a personal best in any of the five events, Curbeam's times and distances were good enough.

"The shot put was good, and the long jump was pretty good, and my 800 time was almost my personal best,'' she added.

In the region meet at Lipscomb, Curbeam placed third behind winning Paige Fairrow-Davis of M.L. King, who finished fourth Monday, and Hagans.

Davis and MLK teammate Terri Cunningham, who finished seventh, combined for seven team points and gave the Royals an early lead in the girls team meet, which starts Thursday on the MTSU track. They are going for their fourth straight championship.

Later this week, Curbeam will defend the long jump championship she won last year and will attempt to add a second triple jump title to the one she won in 2011.

Briefly

• In the closest finish in meet history, Selena Popp of Baylor edged Kate Jamison of Evangelical Christian School by one point, 3,100-3,099 in the Division II pentathlon. Brittany Kelly of Northeast won the Class AAA division.

• Chris Charles of Christ Presbyterian Academy had a slight lead over Jackson Powers of Lipscomb Academy (3,000-2,902) after the first day of the Class A/AA decathlon. The two Nashville athletes are far ahead of the rest of the field.

Powers won the region meet, with Jackson second.

• Ensworth entered Corn Elder in five events — one more than is allowed — in last week's Division II region meet at Montgomery Bell Academy. The mistake meant Ensworth was disqualified in all five events.

"We entered Corn in five events on the entry sheet. When I found out he could enter just four, we took him out of both the high jump and long jump,'' coach Jonas Rodriguez said. "I verbally communicated this [to officials] but apparently it had to be in writing.

"I feel really badly for Corn and our teams, but it was right ruling. We still qualified enough individuals where we can score a lot of points [at the state meet].”

Added MBA coach Robert Pruitt: "It's extremely unfortunate. But the rule was correctly applied.''