Locals rack up big at Section 1-AAA track championships | Sports

KNOXVILLE — The sun was hot, but the track was warmer for Saturday’s Section 1-AAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hardin Valley Academy.

The top four in each event qualified for the state meet in Murfreesboro in about a week and a half.

The home teams fared well against their Knoxville foes, although they ultimately fell short in the tag team title races.

Hardin Valley won both titles, scoring 139.5 for the boys and 123.5 for the girls. It was the seventh time in nine years that the Lady Hawks had won the tag team title.


The day started off on the right foot for the Dobyns-Bennett Thinclads when junior Jesse Vaughn won the pole vault with a 13-foot clearance, improving his competition with fewer misses.

Science Hill’s William Hagemeier was second and Carter Brademeyer third with the same height.

“It wasn’t what I wanted, but I can’t be too disappointed with first place,” Vaughn said. “It was difficult because I was a bit overwhelming, but I didn’t do it when I really needed to.”

Meanwhile, Tribe super sophomore Samantha Degrace won the high jump on a coin toss and made it 5-4. She also won the 100 meter hurdles with a school record time of 15.20.

“I felt like I was in a groove today,” Degrace said. “It was warm, so I usually do better when it’s warmer.”

DB’s Nigel Vidale had a good day, winning the triple jump (43-0¾) and finishing third in the high jump (6-2).

Nevan Smelser finished fourth in the women’s triple jump (34-3) and qualified for state as a rookie.

Sophomore hurdler Brayden Simpson won the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.12 and was fourth in the 300 (41.85).

Senior Madison Ricketts qualified in the 300 hurdles, finishing third with a time of 47.86.

Junior Autumn Headrick had a strong day, anchoring the 4×800 relay to a third-place finish (9:54.45) and clocking a personal best 2:19.40 in the 800m. Headrick also finished third in the 1,600m (5:11.87).

“It’s pretty awesome because it’s the most number of events I’ve been to in high school,” Headrick said. “Breaking 2:20 was a huge goal heading into the season and I’m glad I was able to do it after two more races.”

Joe Neglia will also declare as an individual in the 800m, with a time of 1:57.16 which was good for third place.

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In the other relays, the Tribe girls qualified in 4×100 (fourth, 49.52) and 4×200 (fourth, 1:47.24) and the boys qualified in 4×400 (third, 3:24.88) and finished fourth in 4×800 (8:09.63).


Daniel Boone strongman Eli Penix didn’t have his best day, but he did enough to repeat the section championship title in the shot put (56-7) and discus (165-5) ).

Teammate Tyson Thompson also qualified on the discus, finishing third with a 149-4 heave.

“Yeah, it wasn’t what I wanted, but I got the job done and that’s what I came here to do,” Penix said. “I’m super glad Tyson can go state. Boone has never had two pitchers stateside, let alone discus.


Boone’s distance crew made their mark early and often, starting with a third-place finish in the 4×800 relay with a time of 8:05.91.

Levi Streeval was the winner in the 1600 (4:20.91) and 800 (1:53.96), which missed the sectional meet record by just over a second.

Long-distance specialist Conner Wingfield ran in 9:17.13 to claim his second consecutive 3,200m title, edging second-place finisher Kaden Keller of Hardin Valley by eight seconds.


David Crockett’s Hayden Wesley finished second in the long jump with a jump of 21-4.5, qualifying him for national competition. Science Hill’s Niyiah Jones finished fourth in the women’s long jump (16-6.25).

Daniel Boone’s Landon Carrico notched a fourth-place finish in the high jump in a shoot-off with a final clearance of 6 feet.

Science Hill’s Trevor Whitson finished third in the triple jump (41-6.25).

David Crockett’s Maggie Bellamy qualified in the 800m with a fourth place finish (2:21.17).

Science Hill’s Trinny Duncan finished second in the 3200 after a personal best 11:10.68.

The Science Hill 4×400 relay boys ran in 3:25.18 to finish fourth and clinch the final qualifying spot and the Hilltoppers had a stellar day in the 4×800 relay, running a second place in 8:04.13. The girls’ 4×400 also finished fourth with a time of 4:09.06.

The Lady Hilltoppers had to have a last-second push to take fourth in the 4×800, running a 10:03.78 to fifth-place Maryville in 10:03.83.

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