Ten Oak Ridge High School students will compete in 10 track and field events at the state meet in Murfreesboro in May after finishing in the top four in a sectional meet at Hardin Valley on Saturday.
Senior Malik Hardy will compete in three events: the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the long jump. Senior Lauren Smallwood will also compete in three events: the 200-meter dash, the 4×100-meter relay, and the 4×200-meter relay.
Senior Wesley Robinson will compete in two events—the 1,600-meter run and the 4×800-meter relay—and junior Tyler Boullie will also compete in two: the 800-meter run and the 4×800-meter relay.
Boullie finished first in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:56.27 during the sectional on Saturday, and Hardy finished first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.11.
Oak Ridge Track Coach Allen Etheridge said the Wildcats haven’t had as many state qualifiers in such a variety of events since 2008.
“It’s the best one up and down the line, adding the boys and girls together, that I can remember,” Etheridge said after the Section I meet at Hardin Valley Academy. “We’ve got a lot more more balance. It’s a much more diverse group; it’s a larger group; and we’re covering way more events on the track.”
Other top performances at the sectional included:
- Hardy finished second in the male 100-meter dash with a time of 10.99,
- Robinson finished second in the male 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:22.90,
- Hardy finished third in the male long jump at 22-01.25,
- Smallwood finished third in the female 200-meter dash with a time of 26.06,
- The female 4×100-meter relay team finished fourth with a time of 50.25. That team includes Toni Sheetz, Smallwood, Caelyn Thompson, and Bre Young.
- The female 4×200-meter relay team finished fourth with a time of 1:44.40, Same team as preceding.
- Sophomore Abbey Greenhalgh finished fourth in the female 800-meter run with a time of 2:24.39,
- The male 4×800-meter relay team finished fourth with a time of 8:02.79. That team includes Robinson, Thomas Colburn, Eston Dunn, and Boullie.
The top four athletes in each event go to state.
The Section I sectional included Region I and Region II in Class AAA. Teams from 32 schools participated, including Anderson County, Campbell County, Clinton, Farragut, Halls, Hardin Valley, Karns, Maryville, and Powell.
The state meet is Thursday, May 21, for girls and Friday, May 22, for boys. It’s at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro.
Etheridge said the boys’ 4×800 relay, the Wildcats’ first event of the track meet, set the tone for the rest of the day on Saturday. The boys, who were a “bit unknown,” ran the fastest time for Oak Ridge since the Wildcats won the state championship in that event in 2008.
“To me, that was one of the most stirring events of the day,” Etheridge said. “Those guys really ran with their hearts on their sleeves.”
Next up was the girls 4×200. He said that group of girls has been working together on this relay all season, and they nailed their handoffs, which is hard to do. It may be the girls’ first relay team to go to state since 1998, Etheridge said.
“I went nuts,” he said. “They just really ran hard.”
The same group of girls also ran in the 4×100, and the team will also compete in that event at state.
Etheridge said Robinson improved his personal record by about a second in the 1,600-meter run. The senior “made it happen in the third lap,” which was the strategy beforehand, Etheridge said
Boullie led the last 500 meters of the 800-meter run and improved his personal record by 1.5 seconds, Etheridge said.
Hardy placed third in the long jump, but “it was a really good jump,” Etheridge said.
Hardy, who will sign with Tennessee Wesleyan this week, beat his personal record by a half-second in the 200-meter dash running in lane one, which is a bad lane for most, Etheridge said. And he “drove” for about half the race.
Hardy broke 11 seconds in the 100 for the first time.
Etheridge said Smallwood’s time of 26.06 in the 200-meter dash was a personal record. The senior has been with the team four years and often runs relay events, but the Wildcats “took a shot” with her in the 200.
Etheridge said sophomore Abbey Greenhalgh, who also runs cross country, had a stress fracture in the fall, and it took her five months to get back in shape. She ran a near-perfect race to take fourth in the 800-meter run, the coach said.
Etheridge gave credit to his assistant coaches, Scott Estep and Ed Wright, calling them two of the best there are.
After 18 events, the top women’s team on Saturday was Hardin Valley Academy. West High School was the runner-up. Oak Ridge finished eighth, and Anderson County finished 11th.
The top men’s team was Daniel Boone High School. Hardin Valley Academy was the runner-up. Oak Ridge finished fifth, and Anderson County finished 17th.
Here are the results from events in which Oak Ridge qualified for state:
Female 200-meter dash
- 1st—Amanda Lowe, junior, Jefferson County High School—25.48
- 2nd—Precious Johnson, junior, West High School—25.58
- 3rd—Lauren Smallwood, senior, Oak Ridge High School—26.06
- 4th—Sage Davis, freshman, Powell High School—26.08
Female 4×100 meter relay
- 1st—Hardin Valley Academy—48.77
- 2nd—Maryville High School—49.20
- 3rd—West High School—49.24
- 4th—Oak Ridge High School—50.25
Female 4×200 meter relay
- 1st—Jefferson County High School—1:43.58
- 2nd—Maryville High School—1:44.24
- 3rd—West High School—1:44.40
- 4th—Oak Ridge High School—1:44.40
Female 800-meter run
- 1st—Kaitlyn Lay, junior, Halls High School—2:20.09
- 2nd—Nicole Adams, junior, West High School—2:22.07
- 3rd—Madison Bunch, sophomore, Morristown-East High School—2:22.54
- 4th—Abbey Greenhalgh, sophomore, Oak Ridge High School—2:24.39
Male 100-meter dash
- 1st—Bailey Overbay, senior, Morristown-East High School—10.94
- 2nd—Malik Hardy, senior, Oak Ridge High School—10.99
- 3rd—Keyon Hugle, sophomore, Morristown-West High School—11.07
- 4th—Jamerial Parks, senior, Karns High School—11.09
Male 1,600-meter run
- 1st—Adam Barnard, senior, Daniel Boone High School—4:20.36
- 2nd—Wesley Robinson, senior, Oak Ridge High School—4:22.90
- 3rd—Dartanian Oakley, senior, Hardin Valley Academy—4:25.24
- 4th—Josh Routh, junior, Daniel Boone High School—4:27.00
Male 200-meter dash
- 1st—Malik Hardy, senior, Oak Ridge High School—22.11
- 2nd—Steven Carr, senior, Daniel Boone High School—22.14
- 3rd—Chase Biefeldt, senior, Farragut High School—22.34
- 4th—Gorel Soumare, junior, Jefferson County High School—22.54
Male 4×800-meter relay
- 1st—Daniel Boone High School—8:00.08
- 2nd—Hardin Valley Academy—8:00.47
- 3rd—Science Hill—8:01.72
- 4th—Oak Ridge High School—8:02.79
Male 800-meter run
- 1st—Tyler Boullie, junior, Oak Ridge High School—1:56.27
- 2nd—Taylor Drake, sophomore, Maryville High School—1:57.14
- 3rd—Jose Parilla, senior, Hardin Valley Academy—1:57.64
- 4th—Charles Holbrook, junior, Morristown-West High School—1:58.39
Male long jump
- 1st—Weldon Wright, senior, Hardin Valley Academy—22-08.25
- 2nd—Bailey Overbay, senior, Morristown-East High School—22-04.50
- 3rd—Malik Hardy, senior, Oak Ridge High School—22-01.25
- 4th—Jordan Scott, senior, Maryville High School—22-01.00
Madison McCoy, a junior at Anderson County High School, qualified for state, finishing third in the female discus.
Melissa Saganich, a senior at ACHS, also qualified, finishing second in the female pole vault.
Derek Flatford, an ACHS junior, also qualified by finishing third in the male 110-meter hurdles. Flatford also qualified in the 300-meter hurdles, where he finished third.
See all results here.