Performers of the Week: 3/26


Memphis and Knoxville showed out over the weekend.

Some of the best talent in West Tennessee was in action in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl Classic. Other sprinters stayed in town, opening up their seasons in West Tennessee. The Hardin Valley Invitational in Knoxville also provided some top times.

But overall, sprinters took center stage. 

Here are our top performers of the week in Tennessee.

Josh Owten -- Memphis Central High School

Owten is the new TN No. 1 in the 300m hurdles after his 38.96 win at the Tiger Relays over the weekend.

VARSITY BOYS 300 METER HURDLES FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		TEAM	RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Josh Owten	12	Memphis Central High School	38.96		1
2	Courtney Thomas	12	Memphis Central High School	39.96		1
3	Cameron Easley	12	Bartlett High School	        40.01		1
4	Aeneas Reed	9	Houston High School	        40.56		1
5	Dillion Brown	12	Memphis Central High School	42.45		1

He also won the 110m hurdles with a final time of 15.13. He ran 14.80 in the prelims.

The Memphis Central senior is a big reason why his team is ranked in the top five to start the season in the Division 1 Large Schools division. And if he continues to improve, his team can win the state championship. 

Owten's personal best in the intermediate hurdles is 38.67. He ran that last season at the Section 4 Championship. 

Kirstin Jones -- Whitehaven High School

Jones had a lot of wind at her back in the 100 and 200 over the weekend in New Orleans. But she still beat some outstanding competition in the process.

In TN No. 1 marks, Jones placed second in the 100 meter dash and third in the 200 meter dash. 

VARSITY GIRLS 100 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		                TEAM	                RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Diandrenique Gaines	10	Hattiesburg High School	11.75	5.0	1
2	Kirstin Jones	        11	Whitehaven High School	11.75	5.0	1
3	Kiana Foster	        11	Loranger	        11.76	5.0	1
4	Malaysia Sinegal	11	Edna Karr	        12.15	5.0	1
5	Raven Nunnery	        9	John Curtis	        12.20	5.0	1
6	Delje Keller	        9	Edna Karr	        12.37	3.5	1
7	Arianne Linton		        Ascension Catholic	12.40	3.5	1
8	Angel Williams	        11	Ben Franklin	        12.41	5.0	1
VARSITY GIRLS 200 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		                    TEAM	        RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Jayda Eckford	        12	Clinton High School	24.10	3.1	1
2	Diandrenique Gaines	10	Hattiesburg High School	24.32	2.6	1
3	Kirstin Jones	        11	Whitehaven High School	24.37	3.1	1
4	Kiana Foster	        11	Loranger	        24.59	3.1	1
5	Raven Nunnery	        9	John Curtis	        24.92	3.1	1
6	Angel Williams	        11	Ben Franklin	        25.50	3.1	1
7	Irel Crouch	        10	East St. John High	25.62	2.6	1
8	Sanura Branigan	        9	Whitehaven High School	25.62	3.1	1

For Jones, her 11.75 in the 100 is a new personal best. And that 24.37 in the 200 is her best time since since her 2016 State Championship. Jones' Whitehaven team is ranked as the top team in the state to open up the outdoor season. If she continues to run this well, they'll be hard to stop.

Willington Wright -- Hardin Valley Academy

This guy just keeps on improving. Wright is once again one of our top performers of the week after wins at two different meets last week.

At Sevier County, Wright set a new personal best in the 200m, which is also a TN No. 1. 

BOYS 200 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		TEAM	RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Willington Wright	12	Hardin Valley Academy	21.80		1
2	Kyle Noe	        12	Heritage High School	23.06		1
3	Kelton Gunn	        10	Hardin Valley Academy	23.28		1
4	Brayden Hurst	        10	Sevier Co. High School	23.36		1
5	E.J. Caldwell	        12	Hardin Valley Academy	23.49		1
6	Nolan Brown	        11	Hardin Valley Academy	24.08		1
7	Kaden Taylor	        11	Northview Academy	24.76		1
8	Drew Blair	        11	King's Academy	        25.03		3

That's Wright's first time under 22 seconds. This past indoor season, he got below 22.4 for the first time in his career. It's still only March, so there's lots of time for Wright to continue this rapid improvement. 

But he still wasn't done for the week. After wins in the 100 and 200 at the Sevier County Home Meet, Wright went on to PR in the 400 at the Hardin Valley Invite this past weekend.

BOYS 400 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		TEAM	RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Willington Wright	12	Hardin Valley Academy	        48.02		1
2	Jeamy Williams	        11	Dobyns Bennett High School	51.40		1
3	Kenard Laribo	        12	Wilson Central High School	51.71		1
4	Andrew Williams	        12	Farragut High School	        51.90		2
5	Kelton Gunn	        10	Hardin Valley Academy	        52.01		3
6	DeEric King	        12	West High School	        52.05		1
7	Luke Brice	        12	Bearden High School	        53.32		3
8	JaQuan Williams	        10	Bearden High School	        53.46		6

Wright set three personal bests in one week. The 100 (11.00), 200 (21.80) and 400 (48.02). His marks in the long sprints are also the best in the state so far this season.

Hardin Valley Academy will have a great shot to get on the podium this May at the state meet. Wright's meteoric rise to the top of the leaderboards in three different events will help the Hawks' push for a state championship.

Mariah Smith -- Germantown High School

Smith set personal best marks in both the 200 and 400 over the weekend. She also won the Tiger Relays at both distances.

VARSITY GIRLS 200 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		            TEAM	        RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Mariah Smith	11	Germantown High School	25.22		1
2	Taylor Ollins	11	Arlington High School	25.52		1
3	Imani Gillen	10	Bartlett High School	26.68		1
4	Daisha Barker	11	Bolton High School	27.19		1
5	Kennedie Gillum	10	Germantown High School	27.23		1
VARSITY GIRLS 400 METER DASH FINALS	
PLACE	ATHLETE		                TEAM	                        RESULT	WIND	H#
1	Mariah Smith	        11	Germantown High School	        58.31		1
2	Jessica Kelley	        12	Ridgeway High School	        59.94		1
3	Trinity Henderson	10	Houston High School	        1:00.61		1
4	Brooke Owens	        12	Bartlett High School	        1:00.94		1
5	Madison Stokes	        12	Memphis Central High School	1:01.90		1
6	Daisha Barker	        11	Bolton High School	        1:03.17		1
7	Taylor Brewer	        10	Kirby High School	        1:04.61		1
8	Laila Hardin	        10	Kirby High School	        1:05.10		1

In the 400, Smith is currently No. 3 in the state. She sits behind LaNea Wallace and Kirstin Jones at the moment. But Saturday's race was a big victory in West Tennessee, where some of the region's best sprinters have run impressive times this season. Nine of the ten fastest 400 times in the state this season come from Memphis athletes. Smith is right there at the top after this weekend.

Smith is one of two Tennessee athletes to break 25.5 in the 200. It's just her and Kirstin Jones so far.

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