Chattanooga-Area Standouts Win State Track Titles In Field Events

Simon Holden, Julian Nunally, James Stovall, Reggie Upshaw All Victorious

Friday, May 25, 2012 - by John Hunt

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Chances are real good that no Chattanooga teams will be bringing home any team track titles from the BlueCross Spring Fling state meet, but there were some outstanding performances for the boys during the field events Friday afternoon here at MTSU’s Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.

 

Simon Holden and Reggie Upshaw claimed first-place finishes for Baylor while Julian Nunally won the discus for McCallie and James Stovall won the triple jump for the Bradley Bears.

 

Red Bank’s Keonta Davis and Patrick Taylor of CSAS were second in the A-AA shot put and long jump, respectively, while East Hamilton’s Ladarius Watkins was third in the high jump.

 

Davis had a best effort of 49 feet, seven and a half inches to finish second in the shot put while Taylor measured 22-7.5 to take the runner-up spot in the long jump.  Watkins cleared 6-4 to take third for the Hurricanes.

 

“There was a lot that could have gone better, but I guess my nerves got to me,” Watkins said.

 

“I did the very best that I could.  I cleared 6-4 on my third attempt and that was the winning height.  I feel like I should have won,” he added.

 

While Nunally won the discus with a personal-best distance of 161 feet, four inches, he also had a PR when he finished third in the shot put with a best effort of 51 feet, four inches.

 

McCallie’s Jamaal Calvin was third in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump in his first year of track competition while teammate Ramsay Ritchie also turned in a personal best of 9:47.12 in finishing third in the 3200.

 

Baylor’s Holden had a miserable experience last year when he got sick during the race and ended up finishing a disappointing eighth.

 

It was a totally different result on Friday as he took the lead in the final 200 meters to defeat runner-up Daniel Peters of MBA.  Holden was timed in 9:38.43 while Peters was second in 9:40.03.

 

“I ran about the way I wanted to, but I was trying to save as much energy as possible because I have at least two more races tonight,” Holden said.

 

“It was a hard race, but I was looking for redemption after what happened last year.  Ramsay led for most of the race, but I took the lead midway through the final lap.  I love running fast at the end,” the soft-spoken Baylor junior said.

 

Peters had beaten Holden in the state cross country meet, so Friday’s victory was somewhat of a payback for the Baylor star.

 

McCallie’s Nunally had his best day ever as a track athlete and it all started with a dominant performance in the discus.

 

The Blue Tornado junior uncorked his winning throw on his first attempt.

 

“It was my first throw and it’s mind-blowing.  I said a prayer before we started and asked God to give me the strength to do my best.  He came through for me.

 

“I had a good week of practice and had several throws over 160 feet, but I just stood tall and threw it today.  It felt good coming out of my hand,” Nunally explained.

 

Bradley’s Stovall will be playing football at the U.S. Naval Academy in the fall, but he finished his high school career on a positive note with his victory in the triple jump.

 

“My day started off bad in the high jump, but I knew I couldn’t let what happened in that event affect what I did in the triple jump.  I wanted to win so bad, so it was important to keep my mind right.  I got my winning throw on my second attempt, which took the pressure off of me and put it on the rest of the field.

 

“I finished seventh in the triple jump last year and knew I could do better.  I’ve trained really hard since then and it paid off today,” Stovall said, knowing that his winning throw was some eight and a half  inches better than his previous best.

 

Baylor’s Upshaw had a previous-best of 6-7, so he wasn’t overjoyed with his winning effort of 6-4.  His right leg was wrapped in an ice bag to help with painful shin splints, but he was happy when the event ended so he could rest before the running finals began.

 

“I guess I’m happy, but I know it wasn’t my best effort and I could have done a lot better.  The important thing is that I got my team some points.  My leg was hurting.  As a result, I wasn’t able to practice as much as I needed.

 

“I felt like I had a good shot at clearing 6-6, but my calf hit the bar on the way down,” he added.

 

McCallie’s Calvin was within two inches of his personal best and within one inch of second place in the long jump.

 

“It felt good, but I wanted to finish second at least as the guy in front of me only beat me by an inch.  I feel like I did pretty well for this to be my first year to run track.

 

“I was going for 22 feet, but I need to work on my technique.  It seems like I had to adjust my steps on every attempt,” he added.

 

McCallie’s 33 points was fifth place in D-II behind Brentwood Academy’s 43.  Briarcrest was second with 37 while MBA was third with 35.5 and Christian Brothers fourth with 34.  Baylor was seventh after the early session with 24 points.

 

McCallie coach Mike Wood was really happy with the way his guys performed during the field events.

 

“Julian did fantastic in the discus and also in the shot with personal bests in both events.  Jamaal did a great job in the long jump while Ramsay also had a PR in the 3200,” Wood praised his leading scorers.

 

“That’s about as well as we could do.  We’re doing well and having fun.  I just wish we could have done a little better in the triple jump,” Wood said while eating lunch at Subway.

 

Red Bank and CSAS were among seven teams tied for 14th with eight points while East Hamilton was 21st with six points.

 

Brentwood was first in the AAA race with 65 points while Bradley was ninth with 11 points.

 

Go to TSSAA.org to get complete results of all three classifications.

 

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Covenant Men Cross Country Picked 1st In Conference; Lady Scots Picked 2nd

Covenant College, under the direction of Head Coach Katie Stanford, in her fourth season, was picked in the USA South Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll to capture the men's cross country title in 2014. The Scots earned their first USA South title at last year's championship meet. Covenant received four of eighth first place votes to go along with 46 ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Roller Girls Look To Close Out 2014 Season At Home Undefeated

The Chattanooga Roller Girls (CRG) will host The Mississippi Rollergirls in their final bout of the season on Saturday, at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center at 7 p.m. CRG is currently undefeated at home for the 2014 season and is hoping for a record crowd on Saturday night. They will be offering a $2 discount at the door for fans wearing Southern Brewer Festival wristbands. ... (click for more)

Storm Brings Heavy Rain, Wind Through Area

Severe storms brought heavy rain and wind north of Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. EPB crews were dealing with power outages in Brainerd, Soddy Daisy, Shallowford-Tyner and East Chattanooga. It was a very busy evening for emergency responders in Cleveland and Bradley County. The evening storm that passed through Wednesday brought a lot of heavy rain and wind that caused ... (click for more)

Man Robbed, Stabbed At Hixson Pike Bus Stop

A man was robbed and stabbed at a bus stop on Hixson Pike on Tuesday night. At approximately 9:30 p.m., officers were called concerning a robbery at 3800 Hixson Pike. Phani Tangirala, 22, was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for treatment of a stab wound to the abdomen. Medical personnel stated that Mr. Tangirala appeared to have a non-life threatening wound to ... (click for more)

Black Creek TIF Decision-Who Guards The Hen House?

Citizens of Chattanooga were invited to give public comment before their own Industrial Development Board Aug. 15. They arrived to find foxes guarding their hen house.  Many thought the meeting was their opportunity to seek redress in the ill-conceived Black Creek Tax Increment Financing plan. However, they learned it was a sham orchestrated by both the past and present ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)