The Notre Dame track and field team got off to a fantastic start to their season in the lone meet they competed in at the beginning of spring break. The Fighting Irish had four first-place finishes between the boys and girls teams combined, and 17 athletes achieved new personal bests.
While the four seniors – Maddie Eagle, Jeffery Watkins, Dallas Brown, and Kyle Parker – did not compete in the early-season meet, all four of them had been working hard in practices prior to spring break, and head coach Karen Leavitt was excited about the possibility of a great senior season for each of them.
Maddie Eagle: Long Jump/400 Meters/800 Meters
Personal Records: Long jump: 15’ 10”; 400 meters: 60.52; 800 meters: 2:33.98
Described by Leavitt as a great athlete with amazing potential, Eagle was poised to threaten the Notre Dame school records in both the 400 (59.23) and 800 meters (2:17.4).
Eagle’s best marks as a junior would have also put her in line to potentially place in each event heading into this year’s state meet.
She was also planning on running on the 4 x 800 meter relay team after contributing to the team that finished fifth at the state meet in 2018 during her sophomore season.
Jeffery Watkins: 100 Meters/200 Meters
Personal Records: 100 meters: 11.81; 200 meters: 24.68
Along with being a leader for the Fighting Irish sprinters in the individual events, Watkins was set to anchor both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 meter relay teams. Leavitt said that Watkins is a hard worker who leads by example in school and athletics, and that every faculty member raves about his attitude and work ethic.
Watkins has committed to continue his football career at Emory & Henry College in Virginia.
Dallas Brown: Shot Put/Discus
Personal Records: Shot put: 36’ 4.25”; Discus: 101’ 6”
Brown showed tremendous growth during his junior season, increasing his personal bests by nearly five feet in the shot put and 17 feet in the discus, giving Leavitt reason to believe he would have continued to improve over his final prep season. Described as a “hard charger” during his time at Notre Dame, Leavitt said Brown is a hard worker, very responsible, and a great athlete to have on the team.
Brown has committed to serve in the United States Army following graduation.
Kyle Parker: Long Distance
Parker had never run track before, so Leavitt was unsure exactly which event he would have excelled in. He did run on the cross-country team this past fall after having never participated before. He was the seventh runner for the Fighting Irish at the state meet with a personal best time of 21:07 (6:51 pace), nearly three minutes faster than his time at the start of the season. Leavitt said he had been a great addition to the track and field team, and has an amazing attitude.
The Chattanoogan Senior Spotlight series highlights local prep seniors whose seasons have been put on hold due to the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are associated with a high school spring sports team and would like your seniors featured, please encourage the coach to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, share this article and others like it from this series on social media using #ChattanooganSeniorSpotlight.