The Stone Memorial Lady Panthers and Panthers had strong finishes in the first leg of the King of the Mountain series.
The Lady Panthers finished second to a strong and deep Coffee County Central team, while the Panthers finished fourth behind Mt. Juliet, Cookeville and Coffee County.
“All the teams had to battle strong winds today which at times made it extremely difficult coming down the back stretch at the finish line. But to have nine strong teams here today shows that people are recognizing that the King of the Mountain series is a quality series of meets,” said Coach Matt Bates.
The Lady Panthers got off to a strong start with an easy victory in the 4x800-meter relay. Aly McNulty and Rachel Raulerson got the Lady Panthers more points as they finished third and fifth, respectfully, in the 100-meter hurdles.
Lacey Melton fought off a strong field in the 100 meter open to grab fourth place.
The Lady Panthers scratched out a win in the 4x200 meter relay over Coffee County and seven other teams. Hailey Coudriet won the 1,600-meter race, while teammate Lexi Hinch came in sixth.
The girls' 4x100-meter relay team took fourth place, while a small exchange snafu caused them some problems. Baily Rutledge and Emary Dumouchel got the Lady Panthers more points as they finished first and 10th.
Kayli Priestwood came up huge as she won the 300 hurdles with a personal best time of 52.08 seconds.
Lexi Hinch again got the Lady Panthers points as she took second place in the 800 meter open. Kendall Brantley barely missed out on her first event win in the 200 meter open as she ran a 30.39 second race and the winner from Coffee County ran a 30.35 second race.
Hailey Coudriet ran another solid 3,200-meter race to take first. The girls’ 4x400-meter relay team took a second-place finish.
In the field events Lacey Melton grabbed third place with a personal best thrown of 29’7.50” while teammate Brooke Bonts also threw a personal best of 28’4” that gave her a sixth-place finish.
With the strong winds going, the discus throwers had issues getting quality throws; however, Brett Suggs was able to secure a third-place finish, while teammate Riley Hunt took 10th. The Lady Panthers finished 1-2 in the high jump with Aly McNulty and Priestwood getting 18 more points.
The Lady Panthers finished in second place with 152 points and behind Coffee County Central with 195. Cookeville, Mt. Juliet and Sequatchie County rounded out the top five.
For the Panthers, the boys' 4x800 meter relay team got out of the gates slow, but managed to pull out a fourth-place finish to get the boys meet started.
In the 4x200-meter relay the boys finished in third getting their best time of the year.
Jordan Schroeder and George Sampley finished eight and ninth, respectfully, in the 1600 meters that was filled with state meet caliber runners.
Up next the boys 4x100-meter relay team took third place in what was a very tight finish.
In the 300 hurdles, Blu Shillings was just edged out of first place by a Livingston Academy hurdler.
While in the 800 meter open, Ben Bowman and John Mathis took fourth and fifth.
In the 3,200 meters, Schroeder and Sampley went fourth and fifth in another quality race.
In the 4x400 meter relay, the boys pulled out a third-place finish.
In the field events, Dakota Karge threw a personal best of 39’10” to take second place.
In the discus, Brady Wattenbarger set a new personal best of 122’3” and also took second place.
Lastly in the triple jump, Trevor Tucker jumped 29’1” to claim second place.
Overall, the boys finished in fourth place with 91 points, while team champion Cookeville High School had 133 points, second place Coffee County had 116 points, third place Mt. Juliet had 97 points and fifth place Sequatchie County had 65 points to round out the top five.
SMHS will host the second of three King of the Mountain Series which will feature the best teams around. The events have attracted many high schools from around the state including Coffee County High School, Livingston Academy, Loudon High School, White County High School, Cookeville High School, Sequatchie County High School, York Institute, Wilson Central High School, Clarkrange High School, Warren County High School and Trousdale County High School.
Bates is also hoping that these events will help showcase track and field to younger athletes that may be interested in participating in track and field when they get to the high school level. Stone Memorial High School, with the assistance of the school’s administration, has created a first-class track and field locale featuring new discus net and poles, new hurdles, new shot-put pit, starting blocks and a newly re-lined and marked track. “This series of meets gives us an opportunity to show case track and field for the community to see as well as possible future team members who are currently in the elementary schools. Any current Cumberland County elementary cross country team member who comes to any of the three meets may get in free with their uniform and accompanied by a paying adult.”
The events start at 3:45 p.m. with the field events and 4:30 p.m. for the running events.