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D-B boys and girls sweep Big 7 track titles

PAT KENNEY pkenney@timesnews.net • Apr 21, 2017 at 12:49 AM

KINGSPORT — Quality and depth were the keys for Dobyns-Bennett in Thursday’s Big 7 Conference track and field championships held on the Dan Crowe/Tom Coughenour Track.

Both the D-B girls and boys teams cruised to team victories, the second year in a row that they have won both titles.

“It’s a meet where we try to score as many points as possible,” said D-B coach Bob Bingham. “We have the best chemistry on this team since I’ve been here and it showed in every event. Not only with our wins, but with our depth. That was the difference.”

The Indians’ Bryce Barrett, the defending state champion in the 400 meters, cruised to wins in the 100 (10.85), 200 (22.13) and 400 meters (48.79). Barrett has now won 12 Big 7 conference titles in his four-year track career.

“Track has been a lot of fun for me,” said Barrett, who will run for Nebraska in college. “I’ve been running against these same guys since middle school so that makes this all special.”

The Lady Indians got wins from Sophia Neglia in the 1,600 (5:24.93) and 3,200 meters (11:56.30) and Khyra Gambrell in the shot put (32-4) and discus (112-8).

“I wasn’t worried about times today,” said Neglia, a senior. “It was about scoring points. Everyone worked hard and in the end we, as a team, had so many good performances in all the events.”

David Crockett senior Addisyn Rowe got things rolling when she shattered the meet record in the high jump. Rowe cleared the bar at 5-foot-8, bettering the previous record by two inches.

“I never really think about the height of the bar,” said Rowe, who finished second in the state last year in the high jump. “For me it’s just about getting over the bar and going higher.”

Daniel Boone’s Maria Chellah captured both the 400 (58.95) and 800 meters (2:29.72). Both races came down to the final few strides.

“I could feel the runners on my shoulder,” said Chellah. “At that point you have to stay mentally strong and continue to believe in yourself.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win two conference titles.”

Volunteer’s Whitney Christian, a junior, won the 100 hurdles (16.43) and 300 hurdles (49.14), setting a school record in the 100s. The victories were all the more special because this is Christian’s first season running the events.

“I’ve learned that the 100s are all about technique,” said Christian. “In the 300s, you just have to go for it and don’t fall.”

The Trailblazers’ Ben Varghese won the 1,600 (4:23.64) and 3,200 meters (9:51.86) while teammate Noah Shelton cleared the bar at 6-6 to capture the high jump.

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