Dobyns-Bennett's Adriana Watkins performing the triple jump at a meet earlier this spring (Times-News file photo)
MURFREESBORO — Dobyns-Bennett junior Adriana Watkins soared her way to a gold medal Thursday at the TSSAA Class AAA girls state track meet at Middle Tennessee State.
Watkins entered the final round of competition in the triple jump in third place. With a leap of 38-4¾, Watkins jumped all the way to first and earned a state championship.
She scored points in four events as well as last Monday’s pentathlon and helped the Lady Indians to a runner-up finish in the team competition.
Northeast was first overall with 61 points with D-B second at 51.
Watkins’ winning jump was a personal best. Her previous best was 38-1½.
As is her usual custom, Watkins again had her best jump on the last attempt in the competition.
“I started off pretty bad,” Watkins said. “My back was hurting, but I just tried to push through it.”
When she started her phases on that last attempt, Watkins wasn’t sure it would be a good jump.
“It felt weird at first,” she said. "But by the time I hit the sand I knew it was a good jump.
“This is what I worked hard for all year. To win gold feels really good.”
Going into the meet, D-B coach Bob Bingham felt his girls had a chance to do something special.
“We knew that Northeast would be strong,” Bingham said. “But we had a lot of girls qualified and they came through for us tonight.
“Obviously, Adriana’s points made a big difference,” he added. “I feel good for the girls, they deserve this.”
Watkins also finished fifth in the 300-meter hurdles (46.62).
The Lady Indians finished second in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 48.93.
Science Hill’s Molly Foster finished third in Wednesday’s 3,200 in a time of 10:52.90. She came back on Thursday to finish fifth (5:12.00) in the 1,600.
D-B’s Molly Smith was fourth (2:20.95) in the 800 and the Lady Hilltoppers’ Martha McCoy fifth (2:24.19).
Mercedes Bright from D-B was fifth (59.53) in the 400.
Tennessee High’s Ashlee Mitchell, the defending state champion in the shot put, finished second this year at 37-9¼. D-B’s Krystall Derr was fourth in the shot put (36-3¾) and fifth in the 100 (12.37).
The Lady Vikings’ Samantha Gudger was fourth (5-2) in the high jump with D-B’s Sabrina Pickwell eighth (5-0).
Cherokee’s Courtney Brooks finished sixth (105-4) in the discus, and Volunteer’s Emily Armstrong was eighth (16-11¾) in the long jump.
The Science Hill girls came in sixth (9:51.56) in the 4x800 relay.
D-B’s 4x400 relay team crossed the line in eighth place (4:09.59).
Sullivan East’s Haley Roe was third in the A-AA discus at 104-2 with Autumn Roe fourth (97-4).
In the Class AAA tennis tournament, Tennessee High’s Matt Henson won both his singles matches Thursday and will play for the championship today at 10 a.m.
D-B’s Josie Rogers, a finalist last year, was beaten in the girls singles semifinals this time around. Kenya Jones of White Station beat Rogers 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
The Indians’ Kaleb Pittman and Kevin Peterson lost in the doubles quarterfinals 7-5, 7-5 to Will Jayne and Michael Arguello of Brentwood.
Science Hill’s Katie Deal and Hope Forbush, who were doubles finalists a year ago, were upended in the semifinals 6-2, 7-5 by Iris Ho and Katie Fit of Ravenwood.