Local track athletes headed to Spring Fling
by SARALYN NORKUS Banner Sports Writer
May 18, 2014 | 630 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Local track and field athletes found themselves put through the wringer at the TSSAA Sectional at Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro earlier this week.

By the end of the day though, local boys qualified for 11 events at this week’s Spring Fling while eight local girls will be returning to Murfreesboro for the state meet as well.

After winning the sub-sectional titles the week before, Cleveland High once again posted impressive performances at the Region 2 Sectional with second place finishes for both the boys and girls teams.

Bradley Central saw a pair of runners qualify for state competition, while one Walker Valley standout will represent the north end of the county in a couple of field events.

Lee University signee Harold Smith punched his fourth repeat trip ticket to Murfreesboro this week. The Bear senior claimed second in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.41 in the Region 2 event.

Bradley teammate Collin Gwaltney, also a senior, will compete in the 1600-meter run after finishing fourth at the sectional with a time of 4:36.00.

Gwaltney will be in the fifth event in the boys running finals and Smith will run in the ninth event. The boys running finals begin at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Walker Valley senior Rachel Lawhorn earned a repeat trip to the Spring Fling for discus, placing second at the sectional with a thow of 109 feet, 6 inches, which broke her own Walker Valley school record.

The Tennessee Wesleyan signee (for both track and volleyball) will also battle for a spot on the podium in shot put, after placing third in the sectional with a throw of 35 feet, 3.5 inches. She set the school mark at 36 feet, 5 inches earlier this season.

Lawhorn will be in action on Thursday, with AAA shot put beginning at 10 a.m. and discus going at 12:30 p.m.

Out of a total of 19 state local track and field events, 15 will include Cleveland High athletes competing for TSSAA championships.

Middle Tennessee State University signee Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad leads the way for the Lady Raiders.

Having already qualified for the state pentathlon with a total of 3,121 points, “Q” blew her sectional competition out of the water in the triple jump with a total distance of 37 feet, 6 inches. The second place competitor from Riverdale finished four feet behind her.

Abdullah-Muhammad also came in first in the long jump with a distance of 18 feet, 3 inches.

The Class AAA long jump will begin at 10 a.m. and the triple jump at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday. The pentathlon will take place on Monday, beginning at 11 a.m.

Abdullah-Muhammad will be competing in a total of five events, which also includes the 4x200 and 4x400 relays.

The 4x200 relay team of Marissa Langford, Shae Ferguson, Gabby Thornton and Abdullah-Muhammad finished third at the sectional with a time of 1:46.23.

Also at the Region 2 event, the 4x400 relay team of Monica Allison, Narissa Riley, Langford and Abdullah-Muhammad placed second after finishing with a time of 4:13.53.

Both girls relay teams will run in the AAA prelims on Wednesday, with the 4x200 going at 6:20 p.m. and the 4x400 going at 7:40 p.m.

If they qualify, the girls running finals begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, with 4x200 going fourth and 4x400 going 12th.

Sophomore Maddie Coulthard became the first female pole vaulter from Cleveland to qualify a state meet by coming in fourth with a height of 7 feet at the sectional.

Coulthard will participate in the AAA pole vault competition at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Will Hilliker finished first in the 110M hurdles with a time of 15.39 and will compete in the AAA state prelims at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Tyler Davis, who has committed to play football for the U.S. Army team, qualified for four events at Spring Fling.

At the Region 2 event, Davis came in first place in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, second in the 100M dash with a time of 11.06, second in the 200M dash with a time of 22.24 and was a part of the 4x100 relay team that finished first with a time of 42.51.

On Thursday Davis’ day will begin with the 100-meter dash AAA prelims at 3:40 p.m.

The 4x100 relay team of Hilliker, Stephen Cannon, TJ Parker and Davis will then run in the AAA prelims at 4:10 on Thursday.

TJ Parker, who placed first in the 300M hurdles at Riverdale with a time of 40.72, will race in the AAA prelims at 4:30 Thursday, while Davis finishes out the day at 4:45 p.m. with the 200M prelims.

On Friday, Davis and teammate Hilliker, who came in fourth place with a jump of 20 feet, 3 inches at sectional, will compete in the AAA long jump at 11 a.m.

Chris Ofori qualified for the triple jump and high jump and will compete on Friday in the AAA triple jump at 12:15 p.m. and then again at 2 p.m. for the AAA high jump.

At Riverdale, Ofori came in third place in both events with a height of 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump and distance of 42 feet, 7 inches in the triple jump.

Dalten Mcdonald, who came in third at the sectional with a throw of 135 feet, 4 inches, will compete in the AAA discus at 1:30 p.m.

The boys running finals begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, and Cleveland has the potential to be in five of the events.

A number of local athletes just missed out on qualifying for the Spring Fling.

At the sectional, Walker Valley freshman Bryce Nunnelly missed out on a trip to state in the 400M run by fractions of a second, while the girls’ 4x800 relay team finished fifth with a time of 10:58.71.

Cleveland’s Mira Migovich came in fifth place in the 100M hurdles, finishing only .58 of a second behind the fourth place girl.

Mcdonald came in fifth in the shot put, trailing behind the fourth place finisher by only 6 inches.