• MJ’s Shea goes for repeat in state pole vault

    By Andy Reed -

    For the first time in recent memory, Wilson County will not have a baseball or softball team in the Spring Fling, but there will be plenty of local representation at the track and tennis venues.

    Mt. Juliet senior Cole Shea is favored to repeat as state pole vault champion after posting the best sectional vault among the state qualifiers.

    Also, three Watertown tennis players, coming from a community which didn’t have a court until the new high school opened in 2014, will compete in the state meet at Adams Tennis Complex at Old Fort Park.

    The Tigerette girls’ doubles team of sophomore Kassidy Parisher and junior Tawny Ashworth will take on L&N STEM freshman Abbey Lee and senior Armani Hall at 9 a.m. while Purple Tiger senior Brian Putnam will battle Merrol Hyde eighth-grader Grant Koch in boys’ singles. Both will be played during Thursday’s 9 a.m. session.

    The winners will return for the 2 p.m. semifinals. The championship rounds will be at 9 a.m. Friday.

    Meanwhile across town at Middle Tennessee State, Watertown will be busy in the Small class track and field at Dean Hayes Stadium. In the 9 a.m. session, Alhinya Pinkston will compete in the girls’ shot put while Rayquan Verge runs in the boys’ triple jump. Junior Abby Groce will compete in the girls’ triple jump at 11.

    Two Watertown girls’ relay teams — the 4-by-200 and 4-by-100 teams — will be in action during the 3 p.m. running events.

    Shea will go for a repeat in the 9 a.m. session Thursday in the Large school class. Lebanon’s Nathan Shields, who had the seventh-best vault coming out of sectionals, will be one of Shea’s challengers.

    Lebanon’s Tay Crawford will compete in the boys’ triple jump while Wilson Central’s Kolin Miller, who plans to sign with East Tennessee State on Wednesday, will compete in the boys’ discus to wrap up the 9 a.m. session.

    At 11 a.m., Wilson Central’s Zoe Vlk will compete in the girls’ discus, followed by Shea in the boys’ long jump, Central’s Miller in the shot put and Mt. Juliet’s Kennedy Cavin in the girls’ pole vault at noon.

    In the 3 p.m., running events session, Mt. Juliet’s girls will run the 4-by-800 relay. Wilson Central’s Baylor Franklin will run the 1,600-meter run and, after a rest, the 800 meters. Mt. Juliet’s Julia Karsten will run the girls’ 800. Lebanon’s Aiden Britt will run the boys’ 3,200 meters before Central’s boys compete in the 4-by-400 relay.

    Division II will take over Friday with Mt. Juliet Christian junior Darius Hylick competing in the day’s first boys’ event, the shot put, during the 9 a.m. session. His teammate, Logan Collier, will compete in the long jump during the 10:30 session. Friendship Christian’s Emily Jones will compete in the girls’ 100 high hurdles during the 3 p.m. session.

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