TSSAA State Pentathlon Championship
For the last time, we have three divisions and in the Pentathlon we saw some of the best athletes competing for their best performances and competing for the title.
The 100M hurdles is the first event in this multi and the day started out with the D2 girls setting the mark very high for this year's state championships. Tyra Gittens of Ensworth, a name we've seen on the top for quite some time, set the gold standard by running a blistering 13.98! That was the fastest for the day in the girls hurdles and was the start of a dominating effort by this Ensworth senior. Tyra went on to win the high jump in another strong performance that was ten or so inches past the second best competitor in the event. And believe me, the other competitors are no slouches by an means, but Tyra seemed to be on a roll from the very start. She went on to set the highest point total for the Pentathlon this year at 4153. That is just over her national leading best she set last week at the D2 Middle Region. That's pretty amazing since Tennessee has several athletes that are ranked very high in the Pentathlon across the nation.
Settling for the runner up spot in this years Pentathlon for the D2 girls is Morgan Louderback of Brentwood Academy with a very strong 2933. That performance was only 33 points ahead of Harpeth Hall's Kelsey Kay Herring who scored 2900 for the grueling day of track. Morgan made her highest points in the 100 Hurdles (655) and had the second longest long jump of the day at 17-9.5 that got her 677 points, which was her highest event total. Kelsey's highest event points came at the very end of the day when she stepped to the line and ran a 2:30.91 in the 800 to get 682 points for the effort. At the end of the day, running a fast 2:30 for the 800 has got to make you feel pretty good!
There were a couple of younger athletes in the field that were able to take the ride home with a medal around their necks. Getting the eight, and last scoring spot to give Brentwood Academy another point, was freshman Whitney Powell. Similar to Kelsey Kay's end of the event, Whitney finished her day by getting an even 800 points for running a 2:21.72 in the 800M. Yea, 2:21 in the Pentathlon! Now that's what I call finishing strong! Then coming in 5th after not making the podium last season was Briarcrest Christian's Rachel Sullivan. Rachel's highest point total came in the high jump with 644 points for clearing 4-11.75. But overall, this athlete stays fairly steady across all the events which can imply that we'll likely be seeing her creep up that podium as the years go along.
The AAA girls was the next group to start the Pentathlon. Kiara Rhodes (Whitehaven), also a nationally ranked Pentathlete ended up blistering the 100 hurdles in 14.19 to set a fast pace for these girls and take the win for the AAA division Pentathlete this year again. Kiara then kept herself poised and steady throughout the day and really didn't falter at all. That doesn't mean that Kiara had an easy go of it, Brentwood's Taylor Picket was right on her tail most of the day, nipping her in the Shot (30-07), Long (1-3.5) and 800 (2:20.78). But Kiara's performances in the hurdles and high jump was just too many points to overcome. Kiara ended up with 3382 and Taylor with 3329.
This division was packed with seniors with five of the eight scoring athletes all seniors. The youngest was Carloline Lewis of Knoxville West, who is a sophomore and scored 2979 points to get the 7th place spot. It seems though that third place finisher, Kelsea Buchanan of John Overton, is likely going to be the one to watch next year as both Kiara and Taylor are seniors. Looks like if you have a potential multi-athlete in the wings, now is time to get them out there training!
The last division up this year was the A-AA girls. Chattanooga School of Arts and Sciences athlete Lennex Walker was the one to beat in this years Pentathlon and like the other divisions, she came out strong and posted the third fastest time of the day in the hurdles when she ran 14.23 to get a whopping 923 points for her effort. Whenever you get close to that 1000 point mark for the very first event, well, you're pretty much making a statement for sure! Lennex garnered a total of 3306 points as she settled to a more pedestrian rest of the day (ahem... pedestrian by nobody's standard... so joking!). Her next best performance came in the Long Jump with an 18-7.75 jump for 750 points.
It took some pretty strong and steady performances to get into the runner up spot in this division. Stephane Wisse took that spot with 2816 points that was very close to Kennedi Johnson who fought for 2755 points for the day. Between these two athletes, the biggest spread may have been the long jump by around 80 points, but all the other events were tight so this result could have swayed any way on a fairly nice day on the track.
These girls really competed well and started out the TSSAA State Track and Field Championships out very strong! And what's really nice about that, there's still more to come!
See you on the track,