Preps: Friendly rivalry nets 1-2 finish for MLK at region decathlon

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 11:33pm

Best friends, both on and off the track, M.L. King seniors Blake Edwards and Cody Simons dominated their sport Wednesday.

Edwards won the A/AA Middle Sectional boys decathlon by more than 1,000 points with a total of 6,317. Simons finished second with 5,232 in the meet at the Lipscomb track.

Edwards won seven of the 10 events – the 100 dash, pole vault, triple jump, long jump, 400, 100 hurdles and high jump – and easily outdistanced the field. Simons won the strong man events, the discus and shot put, the latter with a monster 47-foot heave.

“We been best friends for four years, and I hope we, as seniors, will be part of winning state again before we all go our separate ways,” said the 5-foot-9 Edwards, who said he had personal bests in the pole vault by six inches and by .7 of second in the hurdles.

Actually, the two won’t be far away again next year in college. Edwards has signed with Boston University, while Simons will attend Harvard, where he plans to run track in the Ivy League.

“We’ve already been kidding each other about who will do best when we compete in the meets up there,” Edwards said.

“We’ve been best friends, especially the last two years when we’ve trained a lot together,” the lanky 6-2½ Simons said. “It’s definitely been a plus where we both push each other to do his best.”

Summing up his two days, Simons said, “It’s been a lot of fun. The decathlon is something where if you do badly in one event, you can turn right around the next event and do much better. I had a very good first day, and I had a personal best in the 1,500 (to conclude the second day).”

“Cody is the Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed type, very vocal,” coach Steven Dorris said. “Blake is more of the silent fighter, but just as competitive.”

Both qualified for the state decathlon at MTSU May 24. Each of the top two region finishers qualify, and there are six more wild card berths available for the next best point totals.

Both athletes give the already strong MLK team high hopes for repeat of its 2009 state championship.

In the final race, Lipscomb’s Jackson Powers, who finished ninth overall, ran away with the 1,500 in 4:53.35. Simons finished a strong third behind Powers and MLK teammate, senior Austin Williams.

Ronald Williams of East Lit wound up third overall with 4,768 points, and Lipscomb teammates John McAlister and Reed Sircy finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

East Lit sophomore Kanellar Carney easily won the girls pentathlon Monday with 3,354 points, far ahead of Amia Butler of MLK who had 2899.

Carney won three of the five events and just missed a fourth. She almost caught Abby Taylor of Lipscomb in a close finish in the 800, the final event.

In other spring sports:

Baseball: The District 11-AAA baseball tournament opens Thursday afternoon at Overton High (its field is in excellent shape despite the rains) where Glencliff will meet Hunters Lane at 4 p.m. The winner will play top seed Overton Friday at 5 p.m., with that loser meeting the loser of the Thursday game Friday at 7:30. Action is also scheduled at McGavock High.

Overton rallied from a 6-3 deficit to edge Hendersonville 7-6 in eight innings Tuesday as Mookie Betts hit a homer and was also the winning pitcher (4-0) for the Bobcats.

The District 10-AA tournament opens Monday at Shelby Park where CPA and Lipscomb are the No. 1 and 2 seeds.

Softball: David Lipscomb clinched the District 10-AA regular season championship by one game over Hume-Fogg by beating the Knights 7-1 Wednesday, avenging an earlier loss. Barkley Logan fired a complete game five-hitter and was backed up by Whitney Wood and Lauren McCullum who had three hits each. Wood also had three RBIs.

McGavock is the top seed in District 12-AAA, and the Raiders received a bye into Friday’s semifinals. After three play-in games, the tournament moves to Hunters Lane, which will host the final four teams.

• Soccer: David Lipscomb and Christ Presbyterian Academy, the top two seeds, host opening round games in the District 7-A/AA tournament Monday night. They will meet Saturday play-in game winners. On Tuesday, CPA hosts the two semifinal games at 5 and 7 p.m., which will be comprised of the four Monday winners. The championship is next Thursday at 7 at CPA.