BRISTOL, Tenn. — Down but not out.
Behind by as many as 32½ points early in Friday’s Big 8 Conference track and field championships, the Dobyns-Bennett Lady Indians scratched, clawed and fought their way back to edge Science Hill 201½-199 and capture the crown at Tennessee High.
Tennessee High’s girls finished third with 106 points, followed by Daniel Boone (74).
The D-B boys, in a display of quality and depth, cruised to a 231-151 win over Science Hill. Boone was third (65) and South fourth (63.5).
D-B’s girls entered Friday’s finals down 20 points. A missed exchange in the 4x100-meter relay disqualified the Lady Indians and gave the Lady Hilltoppers a commanding 32½-point advantage.
“The girls were devastated after the 4x100 relay,’’ said D-B coach Bob Bingham. “But they fought back all day. At the end they were running on fumes, but they did all the little things you have to do to pull out a win like this.’’
Trailing by 7½ points with two events to go, D-B’s Haley Phipps won the 200 meters (26.65), with teammate Briasha Russell placing third and April Thomas eighth. The 17 points the Lady Indians earned in the event moved them 4½ ahead of the Lady ’Toppers heading into the day’s final event, the 4x400.
“After the 4x100, we just relaxed on focused on our goal to beat Science Hill,’’ Russell said. “It felt so good in the 200 to get the points we needed to finally get ahead.’’
Tennessee High won the 4x400, with Science Hill second and D-B a cagey third. The effort was just enough to secure the overall title.
“We worked so hard all day to scratch out points,’’ said D-B senior Laura Loveless, who ran a leg on the 4x400 relay. “We were all pretty tired but we knew that a third-place finish would do it for us. It’s so special to win as a team.’’
The D-B boys entered the day just one point ahead of Science Hill. It turned into a rout.
“We thought it would be a little closer,’’ said D-B freshman Malik Foreman. “But all the hard work we did in practice paid off today when it counted.’’
Volunteer’s R.J. Williams edged a stellar field in the boys’ 100 meters. The top three runners were separated by seven-tenths of a second. Williams won in a time of 11.41.
“I had such a good start,’’ he said. “At the end I really had to turn it on, I could feel them all coming at me.’’
R.J. Williams, Shaq Williams, Jordan Lawson and Sam Barton breezed to a win in the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:32.11.
“I couldn’t wait to get the baton,’’ said Shaq Williams, who ran the anchor leg for the Falcons. “I was so thankful we won that race.’’
Phipps added a win in the 100 (12.80) for the Lady Indians. D-B’s Derrick Steele won both the 200 (22.80) and 400 (52.57).
Science Hill’s Molly Foster was another double winner, taking the 800 (2:22.95) and 1,600 (5:19.13).