MURFREESBORO --- The day at the Class AAA State Track and Field Championships didn’t quite go as planned for the Hardin Valley Academy Lady Hawks.
HVA had hopes of coming home with a team title but had to settle for a fourth-place tie on Thursday, May, 25, at Middle Tennessee State University’s Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.
The Lady Hawks finished tied with Ravenwood, scoring 36.5 each. Whitehaven captured the team crown with 89 points. Brentwood took second with 83; followed by West High (46).
Hardin Valley head coach Bryan Brown had no complaints with his squad’s effort, but said the day was a tough one.
“It wasn’t our best day overall,” Brown said. “We probably underperformed in a few areas. I’m proud of the way the kids fought.
“We just didn’t quite have it today but we’ll learn from it and get better.”
HVA senior Symphony Buxton, an East Tennessee State University signee, closed out her prep career in the midstate with a third-place finish in the shot put. She posted an effort of 40 feet, 8 inches.
“I’m very proud of myself,” Buxton said. “I was an inch away from second place. I think I did fine. I felt really good. I was just throwing it up there.”
“Symphony did a great job today and she’s sixth in all-time [HVA] scoring and she has some great athletes in front of her,” Brown said. “We wish her the best at ETSU next year.”
In the high jump, junior Lizzie Davis finished in a fourth-place tie and was one of several athletes to clear 5 feet, 2 inches. She narrowly missed an effort of 5-feet-4, which would’ve netted her a second-place finish on a difficult morning to jump. The wind was a factor in the high jump.
“I think we all did really good,” Davis said. “We all did good under some tough conditions. The competition was good and I think that we all did the best we could under these conditions.”
Davis and senior Rebekah Hampton got the Lady Hawks off to a solid start on Monday, May 22, in the Class AAA pentathlon. The two Hardin Valley athletes combined to give their team seven points. Davis posted a fifth-place finish in the event (3,027 points) while Hampton came in sixth (2,987).
Davis had a first-place finish in the high jump portion of the pentathlon (5-01.75) and took second in the 800-meter run (2:24.44). She finished 10th in the 100-meter hurdles and in the shot put. She took ninth in the long jump.
Hampton scored high in the pentathlon long jump and the high jump. She finished fourth in both events. Her long jump covered 17 feet and her high jump effort was good for 4-09.75 inches. She was eighth in the 100-meter hurdles, sixth in the shot put and ninth in the 800-meter run.
After Davis medaled in the high jump and Buxton placed in the shot put during the morning field events, the afternoon proved difficult for the Lady Hawks.
HVA picked up a third-place finish in the 4 x 800 relay. The team of Ellie Bachmann, Jenna Wall, Emily Readett and Kensi Gray posted a time of 9 minutes, 31.30 seconds.
The Lady Hawks finished fifth in the 4 x 200 as Gia Faoro, Tori Adams, Haley Stinnett and Timaya Ray completed the race in 1:44.64.
In the 4 x 100, Hardin Valley took ninth and narrowly missed scoring as Kiara Inman, Adams, Stinnett and Ray finished in 49.61 seconds.
Ray, who anchored both those teams, came in fourth in the 200-meter dash while Gray, who anchored the 4 x 800 and the 4 x 400 relay teams, took fifth in the 800.
“In the relays, our 4 x 8 did really well,” Gray said. “I’m really proud of our team.
“Our 4x4 team did not do as well, which is kind of disappointing [11th place],” she added.
On her fifth-place showing in the 800, Gray said, “It was a good race. I didn’t run as fast as I wanted to. But I feel I ran pretty good for my first time running at state.
“All the competition was really good.”