MURFREESBORO — Several area athletes competed in the Class AAA State Track and Field Championships last week at Middle Tennessee State University and it was the Bearden High School boys that came home with a fourth-place finish.
“I was very excited with the way our boys performed,” Bulldogs coach Patty Tracy-Thewes said.
Bearden, which recently won the 2016 Knoxville Interscholastic League Championship, was the only Knox County team to post a top-10 finish and did so despite not having any qualifiers for the running events.
“That was pretty big for us,” Tracy-Thewes said. “We have some up-and-coming runners and we’re looking for some of those kids to qualify for the state next year.
“I’m very excited for both our boys and girls teams. I’m excited for the future of our programs because we have young teams. We only lose seven athletes from the 87 that we have in our programs. Freshmen and sophomores make up the majority of our teams.”
Bearden got its stay off to a big start when junior Jacob Sabota took second in the decathlon. The two-day competition began Monday, May 23.
“I’m very excited for Jacob,” Tracy-Thewes said. “When he came to Bearden High School, he sort of came in under the radar.”
He certainly isn’t under the radar anymore. In the decathlon, Sabota won the pole vault and took second in the discus. He posted fourth-place finishes in the 100-meter dash, the 110-meter hurdles and the long jump.
He was third in the high jump and the triple jump. He took second in the 400-meter dash. He was eighth in the shot put and ninth in the 1,500-meter run. Rhea County’s Chase Shool won the decathlon with 6,568 points. Sabota compiled 6, 468.
In the girls pentathlon, Hardin Valley Academy junior Bekah Hampton posted a seventh-place finish. Her top event was the shot put. There, she finished fifth. She was seventh in both the long jump and high jump.
She took eighth in the 800-meter run and ninth in the 100-meter hurdles.
Those efforts gave the Bearden boys and the Hawks girls some valuable points when the State Meet began later in the week. The HVA girls finished seventh in the final standings.
In the boys competition, Bearden sophomore Josh Sabota (Jacob’s younger brother) took third place in both the shot put (51 feet, 4 ? inches) and the discus (152-03).
Hardin Valley junior Tim Frizzell posted an eighth-place finish in the shot put with a mark of 46 feet. The Hawks scored in the 4x 100 relay with a seventh-place showing (3:25.67). HVA finished 34th with six team points.
Bearden freshman Shawn Stacy took second in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 4 inches.
In the girls competition, Farragut senior Destiny Carey took second in the shot put (44-02.50) and Hardin Valley junior Symphony Buxton placed fifth (35-03.75).
Sophomore Lizzie Davis of the Hawks finished fifth in the high jump (5-2) and claimed seventh in the 300-meter hurdles (47.56 seconds).
The Hawks finished fourth in three relays. HVA posted a time of 9:44.56 in the 4x 800. Its time in the 4 x 200 was 1:42.97. In the 4x 100, the Hawks posted an effort of 48.83 seconds. Hardin Valley was seventh in the 4x 400 (4:06.50).