MURFREESBORO — Bradley County will once again be well represented at the TSSAA Class AAA Spring Fling Track and Field State Championships.With temperatures hovering in the 90s, the warm …
With temperatures hovering in the 90s, the warm weather helped propel 35 local athletes to the state tournament with strong top-four Sectionals showings.
Cleveland High School lit up the track at Blackman High School on Saturday, qualifying all 16 for a trip to Murfreesboro.
Meanwhile, Bradley Central will send 11 and Walker Valley advanced eight to the biggest stage.
The Blue Raiders dominated to run away with the boys Sectional team title with 126 points, while Riverdale finished in second in a field of 32 teams.
"In the history of Cleveland High School track, I think this team has the chance to have a lot of individual state champions and being state champions overall on the boys side," CHS track and field assistant coach Lonnie White said. "The Blue Raiders are in a great spot."
All four CHS boys relay teams took first place, while Keegan Jones flew to a school record 10.62 finish in the 100-meter dash and Ti'yanna Johnson reset the history books with a time of 11.89 in the same girls' event.
Eric Parker broke his own state-best time and school record with a 14.03 finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
Jones will be the lone Bradley County athlete to compete in four events at the state — 100m, 200m, long jump andf 4x100.
The Blue Raiders took first place in nine of the 18 events.
"Hopefully these guys and girls will PR (personal record) at the state tournament," White said. "We are going to polish up and make everything come together. We really want to focus on getting in the points race. I think it will come down to us, Hardin Valley Academy and Brentwood."
White believes there could be as many as five individual state champions for Cleveland at the Spring Fling, which would be a school record.
Benjedi Casseus is favored to win the 300-meter hurdles after winning a state title in the 110mH last season, which Parker has put a stamp on this year.
Jones is the favorite to win the long jump and has a strong shot to win the 200m, according to his coach.
Johnson, a three-time all-state athlete for the Lady Raiders, has a chance to top the field in the 100 and 200m.
Bradley Central had several champions at Sectionals as well.
Gunnar Olson claimed the high jump championship (6' 02") and Gage Mathews and Madi Cantrell swept the pole vault competition with leaps of 11' 06" and 8' 0", respectively.
Devin Moore set a new PR in the discus for the Bears with a heave of 130' 6" to place second.
The Bearette 4x100 relay team of Lele Enalls, Abbey Scalise, Paige White and Zakyra Shannon broke their own school record with a 50.59 finish, which advances the talented group to Murfreesboro.
For Walker Valley, a group of four freshman girls created a strong statement.
Ashley Eulo, Macy Gibson, Sydney Judd and Michele Gomez became the first 4x400 relay team to advance to state for the Lady Mustangs since 2004 with a time of 4:21.80.
Eulo will compete in 800m as well as the 4x400 and 4x800 races at state.
Zeke Westfield set new personal records in the 110mH (14.50-school record) and triple jump (43' 8'').
Westfield and Parker will compete in both state track meet at MTSU as well as the upcoming state decathlon at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville Thursday and Friday.
Here is a list of all the athletes who advanced to the Class AAA state championship.
CLEVELAND: Keegan Jones, Eric Parker, Benjedi Casseus, David Dorsey, Colby Evans, Zylon Cooper, Arli Ferguson, Cole Shiffer, Cole Millard, Brian Byerly, David Tullock, Alex Higgins, Kategie Casseus, Ti'yanna Johnson, Haley Younce and Janay Ryan.
BRADLEY CENTRAL: Lameric Tucker, Tyler Collier, Gunnar Olson, Devin Moore, Gage Mathews, Madi Cantrell, Gracie Hamilton, Zakyra Shannon, Lele Enalls, Abbey Scalise and Paige White.
WALKER VALLEY: Zeke Westfield, Macy Gibson, Ashley Eulo, Michele Gomez, Sydney Judd, Sophie Frederick, Bailey Mullett and Ashtyn Frazier.
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