Notable Absences At Region Meets Point To Season Of Injuries

Season Of Injuries

On Thursday night at the Section 3 Championships while everyone was observing Kyler Nichols vault a TN #1 and take a few attempts at a state record I overheard a conversation between Coach Wietecha of Beech and Coach Fedoris of Brentwood.

"Yeah he hasn't been running for three days and went in for an MRI finally and he has a stress fracture in his back" Wietecha said.

After inserting myself into the conversation I confirmed what I previously suspected may have been Blake Brown. While shooting race footage of the Sub-Sectional the previous week I did find it odd that Brown who was at one point this season TN #2 in the 1600m did not attempt to even qualify in an event that he was heavily favored in in the North Section of Section 3. Later in the evening he would do just enough to qualify in the 800m. Brown would scratch from the 800m final ending his high school running career. He was 3rd overall in the state at the time of his injury. 

On Friday, we had team members in two locations. I would be again in Mt. Juliet for the Section 3 Finals and Luke Robinson would be at FRA at the Division II Class A Middle Region Championship. Around 6:30 we had this text exchange. 

Luke: Is Morayo hurt? 
Me: Not that I'm aware of. 
Luke: Only one Kassim ran the 100m. She was wearing a headband. 
Me: That doesn't help because they both do. 
Luke: I see the other on crutches. I'm being told it's Morayo. 

Knowing the coaching staff was busy I decided not to reach out until Saturday to confirm. Morayo Kassim, defending state champion, current TN #2 in both short sprints, and UPenn signee hurt her knee when she had abruptly stop during prelim warmups last Monday when a middle-school aged spectator walked on to the track in front of her during practice block starts. I am still in shock but this has been an unfortunate theme to the season. 

Morayo Kassim's final race of her high school career was victory and new PR of 24.24 at Great Eight. She had 11 open sprint wins on the season and had not lost.

As a personal policy in this position, I try not to report on injuries until, in a way, they become news. As people were scouring through results this weekend I kept getting texts from coaches "Where was ? What do you know?" This isn't a Fantasy Football Website where injury updates are made on a daily basis. This is high school sports and every injury any athlete that ends their opportunity to compete is tragic. I've been retaining a lot of this information this season but as regional and sectional results were released most suspicions of certain athletes were confirmed I feel the injuries become public knowledge which is why now this article is being published. 

While some did return just in time for qualifying (Abby Faith Cheeseman, Landen McNair) other notable names remained absent and the caliber of athlete that will be missing from competitions in Murfreesboro are substantial. Here's a few that I know of that whose season's ended abruptly. 

  • Dustin Brock Moore Jr. - Greeneville: TN #1 in the 110m Hurdles at time of injury 
  • Connor Henson - Columbia Academy: 5x State Champion in Division II Class A Cross Country and Track and Field
  • Roland McGhee Jr. - Ensworth: Current TN #1 in Long Jump, 6x State Champion
  • Mason Collins - Farragut: Defending Decathlon State Champion, Current TN #9 in Discus
  • Carson Turner - CCS: 2x State Champion in 800m, #11 All-Time in 800m

I'm sure there are more that have occurred that are not on my radar and to those athletes and the ones mentioned above I wish you a successful and speedy recovery. Can't wait to see you on the track again soon.