Victories at Great Eight have top track and field performers looking to state meet

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:42am

With a top hurdler and sprinter on board, Hillsboro High appears ready for a run at the girls state championship.

Junior Tyjah Eady got the running events started off with a win in the 100 meter hurdles, and her freshman sidekick Jannel Pate captured the collected the 100 dash before finishing second in the 200 annual Great Eight meet Tuesday afternoon at Vanderbilt

Earlier in the day, Pate finished second in the long jump and was named girls MVP.

"We push each other in practice, and we're on the same AAU team,'” Pate whose braces have a green tint, emblematic of Hillsboro's primary color, said. "My goal is top five (in the sprints) at state.'”

Added Eady: "We run with the Continental T-Belles,' When I get to the [region and state meet], I'll be going for the record.''

The meet started under sprinkling rain, which eventually stopped but affected the times and distances. No records broken.

"It was a challenge,'' Pate said. "I just had to tough it up.''

The Great Eight annually brings together the top eight participants in Middle Tennessee in terms of times and distances.

David Lipscomb also brought home a double dip in victories in the 1600 run. Senior Austin Casassa and junior Barbara Lee Ball won the boys and girls races, respectively. Ball was impressive. She led her race from start to finish and pulled away to win by 15 meters in 5:03.84.

"I wanted to set the pace, and hold it,'' she said. "And I was able to finish strong once I hit the final turn.''

About the state meet, she said, "I'm so excited, I think our team has a great chance there, and I'm really looking forward to it.''

Harpeth Hall freshman Sophi Pilkinton, a niece of former Goodpasture basketball star Daree Pilkinton, ran to a surprising win in the 3200 with a personal best 2:15.10. She edged Brentwood High's Brittany Alexander, while Harpeth Hall's Lydia Wittty was third.

"That's easily my personal best. Lydia set the pace, and I was able to finish it,'' said Pilkinton who is also a standout in swimming and soccer for the Bears.

Twin sisters Breanna Tate, who is three minutes older than Deanna Tate, dominated the sprints. Breanna and Deanna finished 2-3 (behind Pate) in the 100. Breanna won the 200, Pate was second and Deanna third in the 200.

They are the younger sisters of Golden Tate (Notre Dame) and Wesley Tate (Vanderbilt), who were standouts in college after attending Pope John Paul II.

On the boys side, Clarksville High senior Jerome Henderson who bolted to wins in the 100 and 200-meter dashes and was named MVP of the meet.

Maplewood football star Ladarius Vanlier was a close second in the 100.