It really doesn't matter that the Baylor girls and the McCallie boys won the Division II East Regional track meet at GPS on Thursday, but the number of individuals that will participate in the state meet next week certainly counts.
McCallie finished the two-day meet with 171 points and qualifiers in at least eight running events. Baylor was second with 77 points and automatic qualifiers in four events. St. Andrews-Sewanee and Webb both finished tied for third with 14 points.
The GPS Bruisers actually had more automatic qualifiers than Baylor by a 5-4 margin, but the Lady Raiders had a little more depth to win with 96 points. GPS was runner-up with 70 while Webb was third with 45.
Two meet records were rewritten on Tuesday when McCallie's Julian Nunally won the shot put and discus events and three more new marks were established on Thursday, all among the guys.
McCallie's C.J. Fritz posted a time of 10.91 seconds to break the old standard of 11.0 in the 100 dash while Baylor's Simon Holden set a new mark in the 800 with a time of 1:55.35, which broke former Baylor runner James Strang's mark of 1:55.54, which was set in 2004.
Then in the final event of the day, McCallie's 4x400 relay team watched the foursome of Davis Couch, Justin Badgett, Will Moore and Jack Jones break the old mark of 3:28.54, set by Webb in 2009, with a new mark of 3:27.75.
That last race was one of the best of the day as Jones took the baton from Moore about 10 steps ahead of Baylor's Holden. Both ran their hearts out and both had splits in the mid 49-second range, but Holden simply couldn't catch Jones in the final stretch.
"I was just trying to beat my best time," Fritz said after breaking the record in the 100.
"Those guys really pushed me, but I think I can run faster. I was just trying to maintain good form," he added, knowing that teammates Alex Trotter and J.J. Lewis were right on his heels.
These same three claimed first in the 200 with Trotter winning in 22.25 seconds.
"Thats about as fun as a race can be," said Holden after finishing the two-lap record-setting performacne.
"I like the 800 more as it's my kind of race, but Ramsay (Ritchie) pushed me the whole way or I never would have run that fast. I think I could have gone a little faster, but I'm just glad I didn't need to," Holden added.
The Baylor senior, who has already committed to Wake Forest, is the defending state champ in the 3200, 1600 and 800 runs and would like nothing better than to finish his high school career with repeat wins in each.
Destinee Lansden of GPS was probably the MVP of the girls meet as she claimed first place in all three dashes, winning the 100 in 12.24 seconds, the 400 in 57.27 seconds and then the 200 in 25.68 seconds. She was also the anchor on the winning 4x100 relay.
"It's pretty sweet as I'm starting to get used to it," Lansden said when asked about winning three events in addition to a sprint relay.
"I really felt good in the 400 as I was relaxed for the first time, but the 200 is my favorite as I love running the curves. I won the 100 and 400 at state last year, but I'm going for four next week and I'm expecting to get PRs in every one of them," she said with confidence.
As was the case on Tuesday, winning is nice, but advancing individuals to next week's state meet at MTSU is really the main objective.
McCallie's Mike Wood, Stacey Hill of GPS and Baylor's Bill McMahan all agreed that every one of their kids had great efforts, even the ones who didn't win and probably won't advance.
"We've had a lot of fantastic performances today," Wood began as the final relay was getting ready to run.
"C.J Fritz got the record in the 100 and Ramsay Ritchie had PRs in both the 1600 and 800. Going 1-2-3 in the 100 and 200 was really good too. Those are the fastest three sprinters we've ever had at McCallie.
"We've done about all we can do, but I still feel like Brentwood Academy and MUS are the teams to beat. I'm also proud of Tons Ferguson, a freshman who qualified in two events," Wood added, knowing that Ferguson won the 110 high hurdles on Thursday after taking first in the high jump on Tuesday.
Hill was pretty much pleased, although there were a couple of toss-ups that the Bruisers didn't get.
"It's been a great day for a track meet. We qualified most of the ones we expected and all gave their best effort," Hill began.
"You can't ask for much more from Destinee Lansden as she had another great day. And we're pleased that our 4x200 advanced. That was a plus for us. Destinee wasn't even on it and they still won," Hill smiled.
"Simon is just great runner and a tremendous competitor," praised Baylor's McMahan.
"That's the fastest we've gone all year in the 4x800 and Jan Gautier deserves all the credit. She had them well-prepared and ready to run. Dillon Clemmer is the one who closed the gap and took the lead as he ran a great leg.
"Our girls couldn't have done any better. These girls always come through when they go to the starting line, but all three in the 300 hurdles had their best times," he continued, praising the effort of junior Victoria Wicks and sophomores Selena Popp and Rachel Payne.
"Both our 4x100 and 4x800 relays also had their best times, so I couldn't be more proud. I don't think we could have scored any more points," McMahan concluded.
Wicks time of 44.79 seconds broke the Baylor School record, which was set some 19 years ago by Stephanie Eitel.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES AND RESULTS -- 1. Baylor (B) 96; 2. Girls Preparatory School (GPS) 70; 3. Webb (W) 45.
100 HIGH HURDLES -- 1. Selena Popp (B) 15.69; 2. Victoria Wicks (B); 3. Rachel Payne (B); 4. Chandler Key (GPS).
4X100 RELAY -- 1. GPS (Jalesa Poindexter, Akia Harris, Angela Bonds, Destinee Lansden) 48.84; 2. Webb; 3. Baylor.
4X800 RELAY -- 1. Baylor (Adrienne Webb, Rachel Schatzman, Caitlin Duggan, Haley Chandler) 9:55.55; 2. GPS.
100 DASH -- 1. Destinee Lansden (GPS) 12.24; 2. Jalesa Poindexter (GPS); 3. Emily Wilson (B); 4. Hagan Harman (B).
1600 RUN -- 1. Peighton Meske (W) 5:19.22; 2. Madeline Christian (W); 3. Grace Carlson (B); 4. Lucy Whitfield (GPS).
4X200 RELAY -- 1. GPS (Jalesa Poindexter, Akia Harris, Angela Bonds, Tiana Mills) 1:46.48; 2. Webb; 3. Baylor.
400 DASH -- 1. Destinee Lansden (GPS) 57.27; 2. Hagan Harman (B); 3. Dasia Maxwell (W); 4. Chelsey Jordan (W).
300 LOW HURDLES -- 1. Victoria Wicks (B) 44.79; 2, Selena Popp (B); 3. Rachel Payne (B); 4. Katherine Ward (GPS).
800 RUN -- 1. Madeline Christian (W) 2:22.44; 2. Madison Read (W); 3. Peighton Meske (W); 4. Adrienne Webb (B).
200 DASH -- 1. Destinee Lansden (GPS) 25.68; 2. Maya Reeves (W); 3. Jalesa Poindexter (GPS); 4. Allie Sharp (B).
4X400 RELAY -- 1. Baylor (Emily Wilson, Hagan Harman, Haley Chandler, Victoria Wicks) 4:08.29; 2. Webb; 3. GPS.
BOYS TEAM SCORES AND RESULTS -- 1. McCallie (M) 171; 2. Baylor (B) 77; 3. St. Andrews-Sewanee (SAS) and Webb (W) tied with 14.
110 HIGH HURDLES -- 1. Tons Ferguson (M) 15.88; 2. Matthew E. Jones (M); 3. Isaac Kay (M); 4. James Beasley (SAS) 5. Steven Crews (B).
4X100 RELAY -- 1. McCallie (C.J. Fritz, Alex Trotter, Myles Patton, Jamaal Calvin) 42.73; 2. St. Andrews-Sewanee.
4X800 RELAY -- 1. Baylor (Jackson Goodwin, Will Raines, Dillon Clemmer, Alex Sumida) 8:18.10; 2. Webb; 3. McCallie.
100 DASH -- 1. C.J. Fritz (M) 10.91 (breaks old record of 11.0 by Peyton Montgomery); 2. Alex Trotter (M); 3. J.J. Lewis (M); 4. Matthew Melton (W); 5. Taylor Copeland (B).
1600 RUN -- 1. Simon Holden (B) 4:16.14; 2. Ramsay Ritchie (M); 3. Derek Barnes (M); 4. Dillon Clemmer (B); 5. Dylan Carmack (M).
4X200 RELAY -- 1. McCallie (Justin Badgett, Jeffrey Coleman, Creighton Moxey, Myles Patton) 1:34.30.
400 DASH -- 1. Jack Jones (M) 50.22; 2. Davis Couch (M); 3. Matthew Melton (W); 4. Bryson Popp (B); 5. Thor Cain (W).
300 INTERMEDIATE HURDLES -- 1. Matthew E. Jones (M) 42.82; 2. Eric Baynard (SAS); 3. Jordan Ashe (M); 4. Andrew Sharpe (M); 5. Steven Crews (B).
800 RUN -- 1. Simon Holden (B) 1:55.35 (breaks old record of 1:55.54 by Baylor's James Strang in 2004); 2. Ramsay Ritchie (M); 3. Alex Sumida (B); 4. Andrew Helton (M); 5. Reece Rose (W).
200 DASH -- 1. Alex Trotter (M) 22.25; 2. C.J. Fritz (M); 3. J.J. Lewis (M); 4. Joey Rogers (B); 5. Roger Carter (B).
4X400 RELAY -- 1. McCallie (Davis Couch, Justin Badgett, Will Moore, Jack Jones) 3:27.75 (breaks old record of 3:28.54 set in 2009 by Webb); 2. Baylor; 3. St. Andrews-Sewanee.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)