BRISTOL, Tenn. — More than 1,000 track and field athletes representing 23 schools gathered Saturday for the annual Frank Carver Invitational at Tennessee High.
With so much talent on hand, something had to give.
When the final event was completed, 10 meet records had been broken.
Virginia High’s Nik Huffman started off the day with a bang when he shattered his own meet record in the discus with a throw of 179-7. That bettered the mark he set last year by more than 18 feet.
“Things were going well in warmups so I thought I might get one out there,” said Huffman, named the most outstanding male in field events. “My practices have been great lately and things are really starting to fall into place.”
Defending TSSAA Class AAA shot put champion Ashlee Mitchell of Tennessee High won both the shot (37-2½) and discus (100-8). Her shot put result was a personal best this season.
She earned the most outstanding female in field events award.
“I was happy with my shot today,” said Mitchell, who also finished second in both the 100 and 200 meters. “But I think I just got tired in the discus.”
Sullivan Central’s Emily Williams was named outstanding female runner after breaking the meet record with her time of 5:11.19 in the 1,600 and following up with a victory in the 800 (2:19.49). She eclipsed the mark in the 1,600 by nearly six seconds.
“There were so many talented runners in the 1,600,” Williams said. “I just settled in near the lead and let the other runners break the wind. On the final lap I just went for it.”
Williams reversed her strategy in the 800. Leading the entire race, she put on a blistering kick over the final 400 meters to secure the victory.
“I owed it to the field to be up front and be the one taking on the wind,” Williams said. “The goal is always the same: to push myself to the limit.”
Bearden’s Chase Hilton, using a withering kick, set a meet record in the 800 and was named the outstanding male runner for the day. His winning time of 1:55.29 bested the previous mark by more than three seconds.
Dobyns-Bennett’s Adriana Watkins won three events Saturday. She captured the triple jump (35-10) and then won both the 100 hurdles (15.79) and 300 hurdles (46.32). Both hurdle times were personal bests.
“I’ve had some issues clearing the final hurdles in the 100 cleanly,” Watkins said. “Today I had much better steps and that set me up for good times. My 300 time was much better than I’ve ever run before.”
Watkins credits her improvement in the hurdles to former Tennessee High state hurdles champion Jennifer Cannon, who now runs track at Vanderbilt.
“Jennifer inspires me,” Watkins said.