Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

May 15, 2014

Historic day for Stone track and field

CROSSVILLE — The SMHS track and field team traveled to Riverdale High School in Murfreesboro Tuesday to compete in the Class AAA Section 2 meet. Making the trip representing SMHS were Brady Wattenbarger, Kayli Priestwood, Aly McNulty, Lexi Hinch, Hailey Coudriet, Bailey Rutledge, Kendall Brantley, Sam Gray and Lacey Melton.
"Today was an exciting day. Six of our student athletes punched their ticket  to Murfreesboro for the Spring fling next week. We also set a new school record in the 300-meter hurdles. Kayli Priestwood ran a 48.16 second race. It was an exciting day to see so many of our kids qualify for the state meet," said Coach Matt Bates.
Brady Wattenbarger finished in sixth place in the discus with a throw of 117 feet. Unfortunately for Brady his season comes to an end.

"It's sad to see your senior's season come to an end. But the good thing for Brady is he's moving on to college where he will get a quality education at Tennessee Tech University as well as continue to fly planes. Anytime you lose seniors, you're also losing their parents, and with Brady, we are losing two great parents and great supporters of not only Stone Memorial track and field, but also Stone Memorial athletics as well,” added Bates. 

The girls 4x800-meter relay team of Hailey Coudriet, Lexi Hinch, Kayli Priestwood, and Bailey Rutledge ran a time of 10:39 which earned them third place. 

“This has a been a strong team all year for us. They are a good combination that runs for each other. We are going to try and shave 3-5 seconds off of the splits at the state and rewrite the school record again,” added Bates. 

Kayli Priestwood and Aly McNulty each qualified for the state meet in the high jump. A week after getting in to the sectional meet on a jump off Priestwood made good on her second chance this week. She cleared 4’ 10” on the first attempt and that put her ahead of the fifth-place girl and out of a jump off for the second straight week.

Aly McNulty took first place with a jump of 5’0”. She got her best mark on her second attempt when two other competitors took until their third attempt, thus giving her the win on the tie breaker. Aly went after 5’2”, which would have been the school record. She kept barely clipping the bar on all three attempts.

“Aly and Kayli have worked hard on high jump this season. Their hard work is paying off. Hopefully we can get a good week of practice in before state and get them both on the state medals podium,” said Bates.

In the 1600-meter race, Hailey Coudriet came up just a few steps short as she ran a time of 5:34.

Coudriet finished in fifth position, just short of a state birth. She got her revenge in the 3200-meter race.

“Hailey ran a great race today. She ran on the heals of a returning state medalist. I really believe that Hailey will peak next week at the state meet and get a low time,” Bates said enthusiastically. 

In the girls 4x100-meter race the team of Lacey Melton, Kendall Brantley, Sam Gray, and Aly McNulty ran a season best time of 53.24seconds. Unfortunately for these girls, they finished in sixth place and do not advance to the state meet. 

In the 300-meter hurdles, Kayli Priestwood ran a 48.16 second race to finish in fourth.

“Kayli ran a great race today in the 300 hurdles. She set the school record, which was her goal all season. The good thing for Kayli is that we can still improve a few things on her race. If we can makes those small tweaks I think we can get on the medals podium next week,” added Bates. 

When the 21st annual Spring Fling convenes next week in Murfreesboro, Stone Memorial will be represented by six individuals at the track and field state championships and, by all records, that will be most participants in school history.

“This has been an exciting season for Stone Memorial track. When we made our schedule we wanted a challenging one so that when we got to this point in the season, our student-athletes would be ready to compete against the best. I believe we are peaking at the right time. With one week left in the season, I hope we have a few last sparks in us to end the year right,” concluded Bates.

The Spring Fling begins Monday and runs through Friday.


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