Preps: MLK girls see plenty of challengers in quest for fourth track and field title

Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 8:50pm

Although the prospect of another state championship probably isn’t as bright as it was last year, don’t count out Martin Luther King’s girls track team just yet.

The Royals have been state champions each of the past three years, and coach Stanley Johnson sees a wide-open race when the events start Thursday afternoon at the Middle Tennessee State track in Murfreesboro.

“It’s going to be very interesting,” coach Stanley Johnson said, just after the Class A/AA Sectional meet last Thursday at Lipscomb Academy. “I’m looking for a close race with Signal Mountain, Austin-East, ourselves, along with Lipscomb and Hume-Fogg.

“It’s going to be very tight. But I think we qualified enough individuals and relay teams to put ourselves in position to win it. Paige Farriow-Davis and Terri Cunningham are our two horses. They are in position to win a lot of points for us.”

Farriow-Davis competes in the high jump, the 400, the 4x400 relay and the pentathlon. Cunningham runs the 300 hurdles and 4x800 and 4x400 relays.

“We are really counting on them,” Johnson said.

Lipscomb Academy won the Midstate Region A/AA meet last Thursday at Lipscomb Academy with 115½ points, ahead of Hume-Fogg (108) and MLK (93).

“We might have sneak in the back door this time, but if everyone performs to their best, we have a chance (to four-peat),” Johnson said.

SpringFling tidbits

• Ezell-Harding, winner of 12 state softball championships under coach Don Freudenthal, earned another trip when it swept a best-of-three sectional series against Tipton-Rosemark 8-2 and 7-0. Christiana Gable pitched in both games and was helped by a two-run double by Brittany Edmondson in the nightcap.

Davidson Academy swept Fayette Academy and landed a spot in the Division II-A field as well.

If Ezell and Davidson win their openers Tuesday, they will play in the winners bracket finals.

• In soccer, Josh Russell scored two goals and led Christ Presbyterian Academy to another A/AA state trip with a 6-0 shutout of Summit.

Father Ryan beat Brentwood Academy 2-0, MBA edged McCallie 1-0 and Battle Ground Academy blanked Christian Brothers 1-0 in Division II-AA.

University School of Nashville blanked Harding Academy 6-0 to get back to state in DII-A.

• In tennis, MBA goes for a fourth straight Division II title when it opens against rival Baylor.

Harpeth Hall will also meet Baylor in the Division II girls tournament.

CPA beat Page 4-0 in A/AA sectionals and drew a first-round matchup with Knox Halls.

Opening matches are Tuesday. Finals are Wednesday.

• Memphis University School topped MBA 11-3 to win its third straight state boys lacrosse championship Saturday at Father Ryan. Sam Harwell, Connor Griffin and Ben Graves scored for MBA.

Briefly

• Maplewood High’s Kenny Robertson and Jason Stone have signed national letters-of-intent to play college basketball.

Robertson, a star in football and basketball, will play at Martin Methodist in Pulaski. Stone signed with Vol State in Gallatin.

Last month, 6-foot-6 Panthers forward Eric Darrett signed to play at Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, and former Maplewood player Jaleel Queary has transferred from Lawson State (Ala.) Community College play at Tennessee State.