MURFREESBORO — After a successful start to the TSSAA Spring Fling Monday, the heat got turned up on Cleveland High School at the State Track and Field Meet Wednesday on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.
The Lady Raiders were in a total of three events for the day, with sophomore Maddie Coulthard getting things started in the pole vault competition.
Having only taken up the event a month ago, Coulthard and CHS track coach Casey Price knew this first trip to Murfreesboro would be a learning experience.
Coulthard finished tied for 14th overall after clearing 7 feet, falling a little short of her personal record of 7 feet, 6 inches.
“I was proud of her. We knew going in that it would be tough, so the goal was just for her to jump her best,” Price stated.
The Lady Raider 4x200-meter relay team of Gabby Thornton, Shae Ferguson, Marissa Langford and Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad failed to qualify for the finals after being disqualified due to a late exchange in the preliminaries.
“Shae took off too early. You practice, practice, practice and sometimes when you get to that level things happen,” Price explained.
The last girls’ running prelim for the day was the 4x400M relay, which was run by Monica Allison, Narissa Riley, Langford and Abdullah-Muhammad.
While a dropped baton at the start of the third leg slowed down their time, the Lady Raiders still managed to set a new school record for the event with a finishing time of 4:11.83.
“As long as it (the baton) doesn’t run out of your lane you can pick it up without being disqualified. The crazy thing is that they still broke the former school record, which was 4:12,” Price commented. “If they hadn’t dropped the baton I think they probably would’ve been even faster.”
The girls’ field championships and boys’ running prelims are being held today at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Field Stadium. Abdullah-Muhammad, who has signed to do track at MTSU, competed in the long jump and triple jump events this morning, while Walker Valley’s Rachel Lawhorn, a two-sport (volleyball and track) signee at Tennessee Wesleyan, threw the shot put and discus today as well.
In bos events this afternoon, Cleveland has participants in five events — Will Hilliker (110-meter hurdles), Tyler Davis (100- and 200-meter dash prelims), the 4x100 relay team and TJ Parker (300 hurdles).
The boys championships will be held Friday with a pair of Bradley Central runners — Collin Gwaltney (1600M) and Lee University signee Harold Smith (800M) — going for state titles.