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Track standouts shake off rain at Big MAC meet

Pat Kenney • Apr 28, 2017 at 12:45 AM

KINGSPORT — Mother Nature had the first word and the athletes had the last at Thursday’s Big MAC track and field meet held on the Dan Crowe/Tom Coughenour Track at Dobyns-Bennett.

A late afternoon deluge forced the cancellation of the discus, shot put and triple jump events, but once the skies cleared the action was fast and furious among the teams from the Big 7 and Inter-Mountain conferences.

Defending boys state 400 meter champion Bryce Barrett from D-B cruised to a win in the 100m (11.04) and then ran legs on the Indians’ winning 4x200m (1:29.27) and 4x400m (3:24.31) teams.

“I ran some different events today, approaching the meet more like a workout,” said Barrett. “I didn’t run as fast as I wanted in the 100, but it was a good race. 

“In the 4x200 relay, we set a PR so we are happy about that, and our 4x400 time was one of the best in the state right now.”

Daniel Boone standout Ben Varghese went into the meet with a simple philosophy.

“The goal is to do the right paces and you should have a good day,” said Varghese, a senior.

Good day, indeed.

Varghese, who won a national indoor championship in the 5,000 meters early this year, ran a PR of 4:15.72 in the 1,600 meters then came back with a not too shabby 1:59.98 in the open 800m.

“We went out a little faster than I had planned in the 1,600,” said Varghese. “But to get a PR in that event is something I can be happy about.

“The 800, well I just ran that by feel,” added Varghese. “And it felt pretty good.”

Jefferson County senior Kyle Nabe put on quite a show in the hurdles, in spite of a slight foot injury. He won the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 14.85 and came back to capture the 300 hurdles at 39.93.

“I was a little hesitant today because of my recent issues with my foot,” said Nabe. “I really just wanted to see how well I could run on it. I just focused on each race and got through them.”

Other outstanding performances on the day included Volunteer’s Whitney Christian, who won the long jump (15-1 1/2) and the 100m hurdles (16.70). She finished second in the 300 hurdles (39.23). 

Sevier County’s Aislin McElhaney ran a stellar time of 46.88 to win the 300 hurdles.

Daniel Boone’s Maria Chellah (2:25.68) won a stride-for-stride duel with D-B’s Meg Davis (2:25.80) in the highly competitive girls open 800m.

Gabrielle Mardis from Science Hill took the girls 1,600m (5:40.80) with the Lady Indians’ Sophia Neglia winning the grueling 3,200m in a time of 11:38.52.

D-B’s Azia Dunn won the boys long jump (20-5 1/2) with Boone’s Ryan Jacomet winning the boys pole vault (12-0). Caitlin Cutshall finished first in the girls pole vault at 9-0 with the Lady Trailblazers Erin Fuller (4-10) winning the high jump.

The Indians Tanner Henry took first in the boys high jump after clearing the bar at 6-0.

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