Oak Ridge High School junior Erin Van Berkel threw a disc 120 feet and 10 inches in a track and field meet at Oak Ridge High School on Tuesday. That’s the top discus throw among high school girls in Tennessee this year.
Van Berkel had been ranked number three in the state going into Tuesday’s meet, said Luke Hadden, Oak Ridge throw coach. The top two had been girls at Alvin C. York and Jefferson County, and they had throws of about 116 feet and 113 feet.
Van Berkel’s throw is the farthest throw by an Oak Ridge athlete in a long time, said Allen Etheridge, Oak Ridge track coach. The school record of 128 feet and 8 inches was set by Sarah Gundlach in 1978.
Van Berkel beat her previous meet best by about eight feet on Tuesday.
“It was a great throw,” Etheridge said. “It was brilliant.”
Everything about Van Berkel’s throw was like textbook technique from a training video, Etheridge said. Hadden said Van Berkel just started throwing last year. She worked hard over the summer and has built on that foundation, Hadden said.
She has improved with each meet this year. She threw 88-09.75 at the Hardin Valley Invitational on March 23-24, when she finished seventh. Then, she threw 111-03 at the Farragut Invitational on March 31, when she finished first. And she added another foot, 112-08, at the Ben Martin Invitational at Oak Ridge on April 6, when she finished first again.
“She just uncorked it,” Etheridge said after Van Berkel’s throw at Farragut.
Tuesday’s meet was like a practice for Van Berkel, and coaches had wanted her to train through it.
The Wildcats have another track meet on Friday. It’s the Battle of the Bridge between Oak Ridge and Hardin Valley, featuring two of the best teams in the region.
In other events Tuesday, Etheridge said the boys “A” and “B” teams both ran season bests in the 4×200-meter relay, finishing first and second with times of 1:34.45 and 1:35.85. The first team includes junior Caelan Thompson, junior Jordan Graham, freshman Vaughn Coleman, and junior K-Juan Stacy-Wright. The second team includes Isaiah Goskowitz, Tre Jackson, Tyrell Romano, and Shirod Graham.
Both girls sprint relays were excellent, Etheridge said. The girls tied their season best in the 4×200-meter relay (finishing first at 1:48.85), and they beat their previous record in the 4×100-meter relay by about 0.5 second (finishing first at 51.11). Both teams are in the top three in the section now, Etheridge said. The two girls teams feature the same lineup: junior Makiya Garrett, senior Desiree Bates, sophomore Katie Swigert, and junior Shatyrah Copeland.
In other top finishes on Tuesday, Ashlynn Riikola was first in shot put (26-08.00), and Jordan Graham was first in the 200-meter dash (23.80). Oak Ridge girls relay team members finished third through sixth in the 200-meter dash: Garrett (27.57), Bates (28.00), Swigert (28.14), and Copeland (29.34). Maggie Froning was second in the girls 400-meter dash (1:10.40).
Kate Hausladen improved her time a bit in the girls 100-meter hurdles to 17.33, finishing second, followed by Brigid Bishop at 18.85 in third.
Ashlynn Riikola was first in the shot put at 26-08.00, and Monica Johnson was second at 24-09.00. Behind Van Berkel, Mazzie Zawisza was second in discus at 70-07.
Jordan Graham was first in the boys 200-meter dash (23.80), just ahead of Isaiah Goskowitz in second at 23.81. Other relay team members, Stacy-Wright and Thompson, finished fourth (24.44) and fifth (24.61).
Carson Hope was third in the boys 400-meter dash (55.77) and long jump (18-03.00); the boys relay teams were first (45.66) and second (45.97) in the 4×00-meter relay; and the 4×400-meter relay team finished third (3:52.53). That team includes Kendrick Byrd, Landon Ortiz, Jaeden Eleam, and Cameron Malone.
Ramar Hawkins was third in the boys shot put at 41-00.00, and Erik Herrera was third in the boys discus throw at 93-05.
You can see the complete results of Tuesday’s Oak Ridge Meet #1 here.
Before Tuesday’s meet and after the Farragut Invitational on March 31, Etheridge said the Oak Ridge Wildcats track team has a solid group of athletes and is good across the board.
“We’re solid,” Etheridge said.
Some track team members have competed in state championship track meets in the past few years in events that have included relays, distance runs, sprints, and hurdles.
Etheridge said junior Kate Hausladen was terrific in the 300-meter hurdles at Farragut, where she finished third with a time of 49.13. That’s Hausladen’s best time since she was a freshman, Etheridge said.
“That’s a very good time,” he said.
Hausladen also finished third in the girls 100-meter hurdles at Farragut at 17.65, and she was first in that event (15.40) in the Ben Martin Invitational in Oak Ridge on April 6.
At Farragut on March 31, seniors Reid Dukes finished first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.00, and senior Jose Villegas was first in the 1,600-meter run, finishing at 4:40.00. Those were good times, but both boys will need to improve to continue winning, Etheridge said. Dukes and Villegas will get better, he said.
(Villegas and Dukes are also distance runners who have been on the Oak Ridge cross country team. Villegas finished 15th in the state’s Division I Large School Cross Country 5k boys championship race in Nashville on November 4, and Dukes finished 26th.)
Etheridge was also happy with the girls sprint relays at Farragut on March 31. The team, the same team as at Tuesday’s meet in Oak Ridge—Garrett, Bates, Swigert, and Copeland—had solid times and good handoffs, he said.
They ran well, especially in the 4×100-meter relay, where they finished second with a time of 51.32. That’s a really good time for March, Etheridge said.
Another highlight at Farragut was the performance of the boys in the 4×100-meter and 4×200-meter relays. The boys dominated a slower heat, Etheridge said. The boys—Thompson, Jordan Graham, Coleman, and Stacy-Wright—finished fourth in the 4×200 with a time of 1:35.17.
In other top finishes at Farragut, in addition to Van Berkel’s first-place finish in discus, Victoria Wilson of Oak Ridge finished first in the 200-meter junior varsity dash with a time of 30.43, and Isaiah Goskowitz was first in the boys 200-meter junior varsity dash at 24.59.
Genevieve Schwarz finished fourth in the girls 800-meter run at 2:31.73. Makiya Garrett finished third in the long jump at 15-09.50, and Dalton Morgan was fourth in the boys 1,600-meter run at 4:47.94.
(Schwarz and Morgan are also distance runners who are also on the Oak Ridge cross country team. Morgan finished 24th in the state Division I Large School Cross Country 5k boys championship race in Nashville on November 4, and Schwarz finished 26th in the state Division I Large School Cross Country 5k girls championship race.)
You can see the complete results from the Farragut Invitational on March 31 here.
Ben Martin Invitational
Besides Van Berkel’s first-place discus throw, here are other highlights of the Ben Martin Invitational at Oak Ridge on April 6:
- Shirod Graham was first in the boys triple jump (36-10.50).
- The girls distance medley team—Schwarz, Muskaan Vohra, Abby Hausladen, and Rebecca Joyal—was first at 14:03.62.
- The girls 4×800-meter relay finished second with a time of 11:12.83. That team includes Eden Gee, Jessie Strader, Abby Hausladen, and Ingrid Vidales.
- The girls 800 sprint medley—Bates, Garrett, Swigert, and Copeland—finished second at 2:01.36.
- The boys 4×800-meter relay was second at 8:44.92. That team includes Will Jeter, Dukes, Villegas, and Morgan.
- Garrett was second in the long jump at 14-08.00.
- Jordan Graham was second in the boys 100-meter dash (11.27).
- Robyn Wood finished third in the high jump at 4-08.00.
- Carson Hope was third in the boys 110-meter hurdles (17.83).
- The boys 800 sprint medley was third at 1:35.60. That team includes Shirod Graham, Jackson, Romano, and Cameron Malone.
See the results of the Hardin Valley Invitational on March 23-24 here.
See the results of the Ben Martin Invitational on April 6 here.
See the Tennessee high school girls rankings here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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