Performer Of The Week
Every week this season we will be conducting a poll from beginning Monday and ending Wednesday to highlight the performances from the previous week. This will give us an opportunity to showcase the best talent in Tennessee. Though some athletes will likely lay down marks every meet that are worthy of being in the poll every time, our goal is to cast a wide net and showcase a vast array of athletes from all parts of the state. Polls open Monday and close Wednesday at midnight.
Levi Streeval - Daniel Boone
Processing results to attach to profiles can be a very redundant process at times especially on nights where ten or more sets of results get uploaded. This was indeed the case last week when completely missed the fact Levi Streeval set a new TN #1 in the 800m of 1:52.8 at the Big 8 Conference Championship. Fortunately for me, he wasn't done posting TN #1 performances. On Friday at the Carolina Distance Carnival, Streeval set a new TN #1 in the 1600m run placing 4th in the elite division in 4:10.17.
While this may seem like it only has single event implications, the bigger picture implications for Daniel Boone's chances in the team race are pretty significant. Last week's projections for the Trailblazers had them sitting at 43 points. I think ultimately that projection is low. If Penix can sweep the throws again, Streeval sweeps the 800m/1600m, Wingfield places in two other distances (3200 primarily) and the 4x800m can repeat as champions we're looking at 60+ points. That's a best case scenario and while they may not be able to catch Memphis Central, they can make a run at a runner up finish which would be an improvement on fourth where they finished last season.
Barion Brown - Pearl-Cohn
Over the last classification cycle, Pearl-Cohn has had some strong challengers in the sprint events that gave us some must see races at the state meet. This year, Melrose and Austin-East find themselves in Class AA while the Firebirds are in Class A with Alcoa. Though the team competition with the Tornadoes was one of the best last year, the Tornado's strength which caught Coach Davis off guard was with their completeness and not necessarily their speed. All that is to say, Barion Brown's hardest season tests are likely behind him after his two victories at Great Eight on Thursday.
In back to back weeks, Brown went against the best of Nashville and won both short sprints then followed that up going against the best of Middle Tennessee and nothing two more victories. He currently leads Division I Class A in all three sprint categories by pretty hefty margins.
*Denotes Personal Best
The question becomes is will he run all three? If so, it's hard to see anyone challenging him for the top spot on the podium given the current landscape of the division.
Markeith Powell - Memphis Academy of Science & Engineering
Now while this athlete may be ranked #2 behind Brown in the Division I Class A rankings, I less consider him a challenger and more of an "heir apparent" waiting in the wings to take over after Barion heads off the UK. This weekend at the SCIAA HS Championships, Memphis Academy of Science & Engineering (MASE for short) freshman Markeith Powell won the 100m dash tying a TN #1 for freshman in the 100m dash in 10.96 during the prelims earlier in the week. Last year, Powell won his heat of the seeded finals at the TMSAA State Championship in 11.90 and placed 2nd overall.
For Powell, improving year over year by almost a second and finishing on the podium in Murfreesboro would likely be a huge confidence booster for the freshman for his first year in high school.
Christian Brothers 4x800m Relay
This weekend was the weekend of the 4x800m relay when it came to Division II Class AA teams loading it up before state and it was definitely fun to keep track of. On Friday night, Brentwood Academy became the first team to crack 8:00 in the state doing so at the Charlie Harper Relays with Father Ryan and Brentwood rounding out the Top 3. In Chattanooga, McCallie went 8:03 (without Jack Bowen) at Front Runners. Last but not least, Christian Brothers topped both of them when the foursome of Parker Russ, Kaleb Smith, Jake Ryan, and Chaz Jones dropped almost 6 seconds off their qualifying time of 8:04 at the Penn Relays and posted a 7:58.19 en route to a new TN #1 after a frantic weekend in the event category. Below is their prelim effort.
It'll definitely be worth monitoring how much winning this event means to any one squad come May 25th or if they'll reallocate their primary legs in different events.
Drake Carlson - Father Ryan
Drake Carlson remained undefeated on the season in both throwing disciplines with two victories and two personal bests at Great Eight. His 166-2 in discus ranks 3rd overall and his 56-2.5 ranks second.
Nothing is guaranteed especially in Division II Class AA. Last year he placed 5th in disc and 4th in shot and a lot of talented throwers are all clustered together really tight in behind. In shot, there are 5 other throwers over the fifty foot mark and in discus there are four over 150 including Patrick Kutas of CBHS who currently leads the event with 177-5. Consistency will be key. He's thrown over 150 six out of seven outings and over fifty in four of seven. If he's going to remain undefeated this season, he'll need equal or better performances than what he threw on Thursday.