5 Observations: Indoor Season Wrapping Up

The indoor season isn't quite over yet. But there aren't any more indoor competitions in Tennessee this season.

So we thought we'd take a look at some of the athletes and performances that deserved recognizing throughout the 2018 indoor season in Tennessee.

Here are five observations of exceptional performances from in-state athletes this past season.

Another Busy Season for Brentwood

Brentwood's distance runners had another busy indoor season this winter. And it's still not over yet.

The Brentwood boys won the indoor state championship with five wins and a total of 76 points on Sunday. They did so without the fastest distance runner in the country, Brodey Hasty, who was in Boston racing against collegiate and professional competition.

It's been a packed schedule of impressive marks for this team all season.

Brodey Hasty has the fastest mile time in the state and the country (4:00.05). Scott Thompson has the fastest 800m time in the state (1:52.48). That's also the third-fastest mark in America.

Beth Donnelly has the fastest mile and two mile times in the state. She's had a huge indoor season, running 4:56 and 10:47 in those two races respectively. Donnelly is also still just a sophomore.

Brentwood's season was capped off with an excellent showing at the state meet. But it's been a banner season leading up to this point. They'll take a large crew of runners up to the New Balance Indoor Championships next weekend.

Willington Wright Impressed

Few athletes improved more this indoor season than Hardin Valley's Willington Wright

Wright was consistently the fastest 400 meter runner in the state. He proved that in Johnson City at the first big meet of the year. As the season progressed, he continued to improve.

Wright ended up setting a personal best in the 400 at the Indoor State meet. His winning time of 48.08 was five-tenths better than his career-best coming into the season. On the track, Wright had a sensational season.

He's also impressed in the field.

Wright also won the boys triple jump competition at the state indoor meet, jumping nearly five feet farther than the rest of the field. His mark of 48-02.00 was a massive personal best. His career-long jump before that was 46-10.75. He jumped that last outdoor season at the Volunteer Track Classic.

He's only one of 14 athletes in the country to jump 48+ feet in the triple jump this indoor season.

Wright's made some major improvements across the board this indoor season. If he keeps this up, Wright could bring home a few more first place medals when the outdoor season wraps up in May.

Kirstin Jones is Ready for a Big Outdoor Season

Whitehaven junior Kirstin Jones knows how to win an individual state championship. She won her first state title as a freshman back in 2016. Jones won the 200 meters in 24.19, which is still her personal best.

She got her second gold on Sunday at the indoor state meet. Jones won the 200 meter dash in 24.65, which is a new TN No. 1. It was also the first time she'd run the event all indoor season.

Jones has focused primarily on the 60 meter dash, where she finished second at the indoor state competition. She'd never run indoors before this past season, but showed drastic improvement over the course of the winter.

She started with a 7.95 at the Hoover Alumni Invite a few months ago. Then she got her PR down to 7.82 at the Vanderbilt Invite. On Sunday, Jones capped off her season with a 7.66 in the finals. 

These extra competitions will help Jones. The benefit of these extra races in the winter will be crucial as the outdoor season gets closer and closer.

Jake Renfree's Big Year Isn't Close to Being Over

Jake Renfree had a huge performance in San Diego at Foot Locker. He's here to build off that experience and continue his huge year.

He certainly did.

Renfree soared up national leaderboard on Sunday, winning  the two mile with a TN No. 1/US No. 2 9:11. 

Like many of the Brentwood runners, he's had an eventful winter. Renfree started the year off at the KYA Meet in Johnson City, winning the mile and 800. Then he beat a stacked field of milers at the Vanderbilt Invite, setting a personal best of 4:14.

And over the weekend, the Foot Locker All-American grabbed his first career state championship.

Renfree's running with a lot of momentum. His two runs at Foot Locker South and Foot Locker Nationals catapulted him into the nation's elite distance runners. A 4:14/9:11 indoor season certainly bolsters his credentials as one of the top distance runners in the Southeast.

Indoor Track in Tennessee Continues to Grow

This observation is a bit more broad. But indoor track in Tennessee is becoming bigger and better than ever before. 

That's very exciting.

Just four years ago, most of Tennessee's track athletes would maybe compete and one or two indoor meets a year. There wasn't an indoor state competition yet, the Vanderbilt Invite was just getting started and most runners headed up to Kentucky or Indiana to race during this time of year.

Now, some of the region's best runners are coming to the Volunteer State for huge indoor competitions. The KYA and Vanderbilt Indoor meets drew huge crowds on and off the track. Runners from all over came to compete with the elite talent right here at home.

And it's only going to continue its growth.

The season isn't over yet, but we thought it would be a good time to observe some of the notable athletes and performances that caught our eye in-state this season. There's a whole lot more to come up in New York at New Balance Indoor next weekend.