Preview: Hardin Valley Invite


Lots of East Tennessee athletes will be making their season debuts this weekend at the Hardin Valley Invitational. 

A few meet records could be in jeopardy, including one state record. Here's what we're watching for all weekend.

Sobota Opens Outdoor

Bearden senior Joshua Sobota will be making his season debut in the shot put and discus at Hardin Valley. There's a good chance that both of HVA's facility records could be broken.

He comes in with a 65-11 in the shot put and 190-06 in the discus. The stadium records are 63-04.5 and 174-08. Last year, Sobota set the meet record with a throw of 58-08 in the shot. This season, there's a good chance he can throw ten feet better. During indoor season, he launched a 67-5.75 at the UK Indoor Classic.

There's also a chance he can break the state record this weekend. Scott Denbo's record throw of 67-01.25 has stood since 1997. Sobota already has the state discus record, and based on indoor marks he's already broken the shot put mark as well with his throw at Kentucky. If he can match that personal best, or set a new one, he'll have the top marks in state history for both throwing events.

Neglia, Franklin Highlight Distance Events

After taking the indoor season off, Sasha Neglia is back. She's entered in the 1600 and 3200 this weekend.

Neglia is looking to break 11 minutes for the second time in the 3200. It will also be Neglia's first career outdoor 3200. Back in 2016, she ran 10:59 for a two mile in cross country. In middle school three years ago, she won the Middle School State Meet in 11:21. Based on her cross country PB (17:27), she should be able to throw down a big improvement this weekend.

In the 1600, Neglia has only run two high school races. Last year she PRed with a 4:58. That was her only race of the season. Last week, she opened up the year with a 5:06 at the Dobyns Bennett 5 Team Meet. 

On the guys side, Baylor Franklin comes in as the top seed in the 1600. He comes in with a 4:22 personal best from the APSU High School Classic. He also won the Brentwood Academy Quad Meet last with with a 4:32. He'll be challenged by Oakland's David Carlton and Dalton Kerschieter, who come in with 4:30 personal bests as well. Brent Borden and Owen Piatt have also run sub-4:30. 

Sprint Highlights

Elijah Howard is one of the athletes to watch in this meet. The Webb freshman is one of the fastest underclassmen in the country. He has a wind-aided 10.56 that he ran at the Volunteer Track Classic last year. As an eighth grader.

He also opened up the year with a 10.96 at the East Tennessee Jamboree a few weeks ago. The meet record is 10.69 from back in 2012. There's a decent chance that mark could be in jeopardy.

The girls 100 meters should feature a few of East Tennessee's fastest sprinters. Jasmine Jefferson is the top seed with a 12.15 personal best. Blake Blakemore has a 12.16 personal best. She's entered in that field as well. Those two were the fourth and fifth fastest freshman sprinters in the state last year.

In the boys 110 hurdles, look for Brady Fry. The Oakland senior comes in with a 14.86 personal best. If he's able to match that, he'd be the fourth-fastest hurdler in any classification so far this season. He's also coming off a fantastic indoor season, finishing at New Balance Nationals a few weeks ago.

Webb's boys 4x100 could also break the meet record of 42.23 from back in 2013. The Spartans come in with a seed time of 42.21.

The meet gets started Friday night with all of the speciality relay events. We'll post updates on our twitter account, @tnmilesplit. 

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