Great Eight Invitational
Now over the past week, we spent a lot of time highlighting the premiere performances and race videos but there were a lot events and athletes that didn't get much coverage as there were many concurrent events. Here are the best of the rest:
Rockvale's Amani Sharif
On her first attempt, the Rockvale sophomore posted a state leading jump of 19' 4.25"! If there were a wind reading available, I doubt it was wind legal but the thing about Sharif is she's completely raw and will only get better from this point forward. I watched her next attempts it was clear her landing needed refinement and after she headed over to the high jump where during warm ups she casually scissored 4' 6". She's an athlete to keep an eye on from a consistency standpoint moving into the next couple of weeks and definitely will play a factor in her events for the next couple of years.
Powers, Rice Post TN #1 and #2
In the other jump, Brentwood's Hollan Powers went head to head with East Nashville's Jayln Rice both eclipsing gthe 37 foot mark for the first time this season on their way to TN #1 and #2. In Small D-I, the title is Rice's to lose but in Large D-1, if Powers doesn't have her best day, the duo out of HVA will be there ready to pounce. The implications in this event are enormous when it comes to team standings in Rockvale.
This was my first opportunity 1) to see the depth in the boys division and 2) to see Mensi Stiff in person and neither disappointed. In the disc, BA's Eli Sutton had the lead going into the final round with a personal best 161' - 0.5" but Father Ryan's Drake Carlson also threw a personal best on his 4th attempt to take the win but this in a nutshell is how this division is. If you want to have an opportunity to win, you have to have your best day and even on your best day it might not be good enough. Later in the shot, Sutton threw another PR of 56' 6" and this time was not outthrown late in the competition. Won the event by 3 feet.
In the girls competition, if you want to call it that, Mensi Stiff won the events by 30 feet in discus and 4 feet in shot. She could have a season's worst day and still come away with double gold. Her motivation is beyond the competition stepping into the circle after her but rather with herself and the larger national landscape of throwers.