It was a full day of action for two Bradley County athletes as they put it all on the line at Middle Tennessee University for a chace at a State Track and Field title.
Cleveland High School’s Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad participated in the girls pentathlon while Bradly Central’s Rue Goldston took part in the first day of the boys decathlon.
The Bears made the journey without James Stovall, who decided to bow out of the competition. The choice raised some eyebrows early as both Bradley coach Larry Cotton and Cleveland coach Casey Price expressed some unease at the turn of events.
Price took slight offense that Stovall’s first place finish in the Region 3-AAA qualifier ended up resulting in a vacant hole that could have been taken up by his sophomore runner Isiah Beaty who finished third in the region.
Cotton was obviously upset that one of his best athletes decided not to participate at the highest level of competition available to him.
Both coaches declined official comment on the subject.
However, there was plenty of positive to report from the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium as Abdullah-Muhammad battled through some soreness to take second place honors, ending with 3407 points overall.
She finished third in the 100 meter hurdles, third in the 800 meter dash and set a new Cleveland High School record with her first place finish in the long jump, beating the mark she set last year with a leap of 19 feet and 1/2 inch.
Overall she placed top five or better in all five of the day’s events, finishing second only to Tennessee High School’s Jennifer Cannon.
Goldston put up a fierce first-day effort in his representation of the Bears, but came away a little short in the first day’s events.
After tackling the 100 meter dash, pole vault, dicus, triple jump and the 400 meter Monday, he will have to set his sights on Tuesday’s events to try and make up some ground on his fellow decathlon participants. He currently sits in ninth place.
After the boys decathlon wraps up today, 19 other Bradley County students from Bradley Central, Cleveland High and Walker Valley will head up to Murfreesboro to try their luck in the track and field events starting Wednesday and wrapping up Friday afternoon.