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McCracken, Barnard, Derr, Watkins shine in 1,400-strong field at DC-TC/Texas Roadhouse Relays

March 22nd, 2014 10:30 pm by Pat Kenney

McCracken, Barnard, Derr, Watkins shine in 1,400-strong field at DC-TC/Texas Roadhouse Relays

KINGSPORT — The sparks were flying Saturday when nearly 1,400 athletes gathered on the Dan Crowe/Tom Coughenour Track at Dobyns-Bennett for the annual DC-TC/Texas Roadhouse Relays.

Cherokee's Evan McCracken, the defending TSSAA state shot put champion, got things started in grand style when he shattered the meet record in his specialty after a throw of 59-7. The previous record was 57-4, set by Jefferson County's Joe Ewing in 1982.

McCracken also finished second in the discus with a toss of 154-3, and he was named the meet's most outstanding thrower.

"Things are going very good so far this season," said McCracken, who won the state championship with a throw of 57-1 last year. "I'm stronger and better trained.

"Right now, I'm thinking that throwing the shot over 60 feet is within reason and I should be able to throw the discus between 160-170 feet."

Daniel Boone's Adam Barnard ran the opening leg of the Trailblazers' winning distance medley relay. His leg was the 1,200 meters, a unique distance for him.

"We decided that I should just be comfortable over the first 800 meters," Barnard said. "I went through that distance at 2:09 and felt great so I went for it over the final 400 meters."

His time of 59 seconds gave Boone a commanding lead, one that was never challenged.

Barnard also ran a 1:57 leg to open the 4x800-meter relay, leading Boone to a second-place finish. He was named the meet's most outstanding distance runner.

Barnard was participating in his first big competition after an early season knee injury.

"I'm going to be more selective in which races I run," he said. "The focus is on pushing past the mental barriers. But it was good to be back out in front of a big crowd today."

Dobyns-Bennett's Krystall Derr and teammate Adriana Watkins shared the most outstanding sprinter award.

Derr won the open 100 meters in a time of 12.22 and ran the anchor legs on the Lady Indians' winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays. She also captured the shot put title with a throw of 35-2.

"It was a successful day," Derr said. "There is pressure running the anchor leg, but I have so much faith in my teammates. They always put me in a good position."

Watkins won the 100 hurdles in 15.65 as well as the triple jump (37-), also running legs on D-B's winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays.

Jefferson County's Tanner Stepp won the triple jump (43-10) and finished second in the long jump (20-7). He earned the most outstanding jumper award.

Other performances of note included Tennessee High's Samantha Gudger, who won the high jump (5-5) and long jump (16-7) and was second in the 100 hurdles (15.97).

The D-B girls also captured the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Morristown West took the DMR.

The D-B boys won the 4x100 and 4x800 relays. Tennessee High took the 4x200 and 4x400.

Cumberland Gap's Rusty Provins had a winning throw of 158-1 in the discus. He was also second in the shot at 56-5.

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