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Big 7 girls preview: Reed and Hutchins provide firepower for Science Hill

Tanner Cook • Apr 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

KINGSPORT — The following is a brief preview of the Big 7 Conference girls events based on the virtual meet projections on Tennessee Milesplit. Action begins at 4:30 p.m.

100-METER DASH

Favorite: Mary Reed, Science Hill.

Dark horse: Taylor Dixon, Daniel Boone.

Reed has dominated the sprinting events all spring and Friday’s meet should — on paper — be no different. Boone freshman Dixon is a pleasant surprise, but “Queen Mary” has the only seed time under 13 with a 12.68.

200-METER DASH

Favorite: Mary Reed, Science Hill.

Dark horse: Taylor Dixon, Daniel Boone.

It will probably be the same matchup as the 100, and Reed gets stronger as the distance gets longer in terms of sprints. Look for Kiley Wood of D-B to make some noise as well, being the only senior in the top five. Reed’s seed time is 26.09.

400 METERS

Favorite: Katy Neubert, Science Hill.

Dark horse: Kiley Wood, D-B.

Neubert comes in having run 1:00.46 this year for the one-lap race and Friday’s event should be close. Wood and teammate Natalie Bates need to score big points for the Lady Indians.

800 METERS

Favorite: Jenna Hutchins, Science Hill.

Dark horse: Gracie Allen, D-B.

The freshman Hutchins comes into the half-mile race with a best of 2:16.95, leading the field by more than three seconds. Neubert is seeded second for the Lady Hilltoppers and could get some huge points. Allen will need to be leading the chase pack with one lap to go to have a chance.

1,600 METERS

Favorite: Sasha Neglia, D-B.

Dark horse: Rachel Dulaney, David Crockett.

This one should be a cakewalk for Neglia, coming in with a seed time of 4:55.23, well ahead of the rest of the field. The Tribe has the next two positions of Emma Russum and Julianna McReynolds, but Dulaney could be due for a season-best effort.

3,200 METERS

Favorite: Emma Russum, D-B.

Dark horse: Taylor Roy, David Crockett.

Russum is often overshadowed by Neglia and Hutchins, but she has established herself as the third-best distance runner in the area and is just a junior. She comes into the “deuce” with a 11:32.12, which is almost a minute faster than the next competitor.

100-METER HURDLES

Favorite: Lily Sewel, D-B.

Dark horse: Jacqueline Hirst, Science Hill.

The Tribe can use the hurdles to make up for some lost points in the sprinting events. Sewel has little margin for error, coming in with a .07 seconds advantage on Hirst with a 17.42. D-B has both the third and fourth seeds.

300-METER HURDLES

Favorite: Madison Ricketts, D-B.

Dark horse: Lindsey Taylor, Science Hill

Ricketts comes in as the only one under 50 seconds with a 48.52 and is just a freshman. Taylor will probably challenge until the turn, but Ricketts has a tendency of pulling away late.

4x100-METER RELAY

Favorite: Dobyns-Bennett.

Dark horse: Science Hill.

This relay race could shape up to be the best of the day, depending on who runs which leg. Reed has been the anchor most of the year for Science Hill and poses a big threat to D-B if the race is close with a strong finish. The race could very well come down to a photo finish.

4x200-METER RELAY

Favorite: Dobyns-Bennett.

Dark horse: Volunteer.

The Lady Indians have some solid relay teams, but Volunteer and Science Hill pose strong opposition in the 4x200. Like most relays, it all depends on who is on the team.

4x400-METER RELAY

Favorite: Dobyns-Bennett.

Dark horse: Science Hill.

The Tribe has more than a five-second advantage on paper, but that is hardly a cushion in any relay. Science Hill and Daniel Boone should make bids, but both teams will probably be gassed by the end of the meet.

4x800-METER RELAY

Favorite: Dobyns-Bennett.

Dark horse: Daniel Boone.

The Lady Indians have a 20-second advantage on paper and are the only team with a seed time under 10 minutes, but it will probably not be the “A” team that runs the actual relay. Boone and Science Hill — depending on who runs — will give chase and make a bid for the win.

SHOT PUT

Favorite: Courtney Whitson, D-B.

Dark horse: Halie Hawkins, Unicoi County.

Whitson and junior Staley Humphries occupy the top two spots for the Tribe. Whitson has the best throw of 35-8 coming in, but Hawkins is capable of big throws for the Lady Blue Devils.

DISCUS

Favorite: Courtney Whitson, D-B.

Dark horse: Hannah Ballard, Science Hill.

Whitson comes in with a best of 104-6 and is comfortably ahead of Ballard. If Whitson were to sweep the throwing event titles, the margin of error for Science Hill becomes  much slimmer.

LONG JUMP

Favorite: Mary Reed, Science Hill.

Dark horse: Emily Christian, Volunteer.

Reed has a season-best of 17-7.5, but the Volunteer freshman Christian has been constantly improving this spring. Reed has nearly a two-foot advantage on the field on paper.

TRIPLE JUMP

Favorite: Ashley Salyers, Volunteer.

Dark horse: Sahra Lambert, Tennessee High.

The sophomore Salyers has been spearheading the triple jump all year, and it will most likely be the same on Friday. Lambert is also a participant in the high jump for the Lady Vikings, so it will be interesting with her distribution of efforts.

HIGH JUMP

Favorite: Sahra Lambert, Tennessee High.

Dark horse: Hannah Watson, D-B.

Lambert comes in with the only clearance of over five feet for the spring at 5-2 and is a heavy favorite, but she needs to keep the consistency going on Friday. Although Watson is a freshman, she is capable of pulling the upset with a breakthrough day.

POLE VAULT

Co-favorites: Halie Hawkins, Unicoi County and Caitlin Cutshall, Daniel Boone.

Dark horse: Sunshine Wheeler, Science Hill.

Hawkins and Cutshall come in with the same clearance (9-6) on the year and were locked in a tight battle at the DC/TC Relays a few weeks ago. Neither of them won, but Friday’s event could come down to a jump-off. Wheeler could pull the upset if either of the co-favorites has a bad day.

TEAM TITLE

Favorite: Dobyns-Bennett

Dark horse: Science Hill

Even though Science Hill has a lot of firepower up top with Reed, Hutchins and solid relays, the back-end points might end up hurting the Lady Hilltoppers. The Tribe has the necessary numbers and will pick up points in just about every event, but the outcome will be much closer than the projections say.

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