KNOXVILLE — The Church Hill community will be welcoming home Volunteer’s track and field squads with blue and orange banners and open arms after a brilliant day at the oval.

The Lady Falcons made history on Saturday during the Class AA East Sectional meet at Tennessee’s Tom Black Track when they secured a second-place finish in the team competition.

It is the highest placing for the girls since winning the old A-AA meet in 1998.

“It’s truly a testament to how much these kids work and how dedicated they are,” Volunteer coach Jim Ailshie said. “I’m so proud of everyone and to finish second in a section with Signal Mountain in it.”

The top two in each event automatically qualified for the state meet in two weeks in Murfreesboro. Two at-large qualifiers in each event by best time from across all three regions are to be determined at a later date.

Greeneville’s boys won the team title with 118.5 points. Signal Mountain’s girls piled up 166.5 points to take home the big plaque for the sixth time in nine years.

The Lady Falcons, who tallied 114.5 points, received major points from Emily Christian, who won the 300-meter hurdles in 48.18 seconds and placed second in the 100s (16.36).

Jacie Begley won the 800 in 2:26.19, a personal best time, and Volunteer’s relays also rose to the occasion, winning the 4x200 (1:46.76) and taking second in the 4x100 (50.58) and 4x400 (4:17.74).

“Our relays stepped up big time for us,” Ailshie said. “We had some of our best times of the year and several kids set school records at this thing.”

STEVENSON’S BIG DAY

Speedy Greeneville senior Jaden Stevenson had a massive day, winning the 100 (10.52), 200 (21.33) and 400 (49.81) and claiming a runner-up finish in the long jump (22-5).

Stevenson and Mason Gudger, who finished second in the 100 (10.69) and 200 (22.15), helped the Greene Devils get back on top in the section for the first time since 2016. They also won the 4x100 relay in a sizzling 42.77.

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NOTABLE QUALIFIERS

In the field events:

• Unicoi County’s Caitlin Paulins cleared 10-6 to tie her personal best and win the pole vault by more than a foot. Teammate Shelby Miller was second in the shot put (36-1) and fourth in discus (96-1).

• Cherokee’s Amelia Metz had a solid day in the discus ring, finishing second with a heave of 106-5.

• Halls’ Kendall Moles won both the shot (36-2.5) and discus (114-0).

• Tennessee High’s Chase Wolfenberger was second in the triple jump with a leap of 33-6.5.

On the track:

• Tennessee High junior Zoe Arrington took the championships in both the 1,600 (5:13.21) and 3,200 (11:23.26), qualifying for state in both events. The Lady Vikings also won the 4x400 in 4:15.88.

• The Volunteer boys took relay gold in the 4x400 (3:30.12) and silver in the 4x800 (8:29.22).

• Cherokee’s Aaron Coffey was tops in the discus at 142-3.

• Elizabethton’s Kaiya Simmons won the 100 dash (12.51) and teammate Conner Johnson was the boys’ shot put winner (53-5½).

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