Out of the 44 teams that were competing in the state competition, Cleveland’s Lady Raiders finished in a four-way tie with Siegel, Beech, and Science Hill for 15th place overall.
“I don’t like to settle for anything. I want the people in the stands yelling for us because we’re good. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but we made it to the top of our sport and that’s the most important thing,” Cleveland head coach Casey Price commented.
The 15th place finish was fueled by the jumping efforts of MTSU signee Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad, Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad, and the girls 4x200 relay which was made up by Marissa Langford, Gabby Thornton and the Abdullah-Muhammad sisters.
Atarah and Qetuwrah both reached the podium in the long jump, with Atarah’s jump of 17 feet, 11 inches earning her second place and Qetuwrah’s jump of 17 feet, four inches landing her in fifth place.
“A” also medaled in the triple jump, with a jump of 37-05.75 securing her a seventh place finish.
“Atarah had a great day, it was probably her best day ever. She had some huge jumps,” Price stated.
Even though the time of 1:46.51 posted by the girls 4x200 relay team on Thursday wasn’t their best time on record, it was still enough to give them a sixth place finish after Craigmont was disqualified for crossing into Cleveland’s lane.
“Had we run what we should’ve run we could’ve been about fourth place,” Coach Price admitted.
Sophomore Hallea McClendon just missed a podium position in the shot put competition, coming in ninth place with a throw of 33 feet, eight inches.
Marissa Langford finished 11th in the high jump competition, clearing five feet.
Walker Valley’s Rachel Lawhorn threw the discus just over 95 feet, which landed her in 12th place.
While the girls competition was wrapping up, the boys competition was just getting underway.
Bradley Central’s Harold Smith ran his way into the finals following his run time of 1:57.76 in the 800 meter prelim. Smith finished first in his heat, and finished second overall behind Bearden’s Chase Hilton, who ran a 1:57.04.
Mustang Justin Ware’s time of 11 seconds flat in the 100 meter dash preliminaries earned him the eighth and final spot for today’s finals.
A sour spot in the prelim competition occurred when Raider sophomore Isaiah Beaty was injured during the 4x400 relay. Beaty went down with what appears to be a hamstring injury, the severity of which is unknown.
“He tweaked his hamstring pretty good and we’re going to have to get it evaluated,” Price said.
Since Beaty was slated to run in the 4x800 meter relay finals today, an alternate will have to fill his spot.
“He was supposed to be in our 4x800 relay,” Price explained. “That’s why you always bring alternates. Sean Moran is going to run in Isaiah’s place.”
Will Hilliker finished 15th in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.58 and 16th in the pole vault after successfully clearing a height of 8 foot, 6 inches.
The Raiders 4x100 relay team also did not advance to the finals after finishing 15th with a time of 44.85.
The boys competition wraps up today with the field events and running finals.