KINGSPORT — Carter McVeigh literally outdistanced the competition during Monday’s TSSAA A-AA East Sectional finals at Sullivan North.
The University School of Johnson City senior cruised to a victory in the 3,200 meters with his time of 10:04.19, ran a leg on the Junior Bucs’ winning 4x800-meter relay and produced a personal best time of 2:01.26 in capturing the open 800 meters.
“It was a long day,’’ said McVeigh, who qualified for all three events in next week’s TSSAA state track and field championships at Middle Tennessee State University.
McVeigh and teammate Alden Collins (10:10.73) finished 1-2 in the 3,200. Collins, who also qualified for the state meet with his top-two finish, set the early pace before McVeigh roasted the final 300 meters to pull away from the field.
“The 3,200 went as smooth as it could have possibly gone,’’ McVeigh said. “We controlled the pace and that allowed me to use my kick at the end.’’
Collins opened U-School’s 4x800 relay, with Gabe Perry going out second, McVeigh third and Seth Hilbert running the anchor leg. They won the event with a time of 8:27.69.
Perry pulled the Junior Bucs back from a 40-meter deficit, and McVeigh’s 2:02 split gave Hilbert an 80-meter lead for the last two laps. Hilbert never let up and the foursome earned a berth in the state meet.
McVeigh ran a cagey 800, staying just on the shoulder of the leader until he could unleash his vicious kick.
“That’s the best 800 I’ve ever run,’’ McVeigh added. “I’m feeling very confident with my kick.’’
The Lady Junior Bucs’ Lura Nentrup won the pole vault at 7-6 to clinch a berth at state.
Among area state qualifiers was Greeneville’s Alyssa Crum, who took gold in the shot put with a toss of 37-2. Collins finished second in the 1,600 meters (4:48.19) to also qualify for the state meet in that event. Unicoi County’s Guillermo Mendoza captured the boys’ discus title with his toss of 137-6, and teammate Thad Higgins finished second in the pole vault (12-0).
Christian Academy of Knoxville won both the girls’ and boys’ team titles, with 107 and 92 points, respectively. The University School of Johnson City was second overall in the boys’ team competition with 57 points.