Cyclones hold dress rehearsal

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR Correspondent

   BRISTOL -- The Elizabethton track team competed in their first scrimmage of the season Wednesday, which produced satisfactory results even though rain hampered much of the event at Tennessee High.
   "This is just a scrimmage, and it a chance for are guys and girls to get out and compete," said Elizabethton Boys coach Tommy Jenkins.
   Jenkins says it gives them an opportunity to make sure they are dressed properly and are wearing their spikes.
   "The guys that ran the short relay -- Wandell, Benfield, Walter Brown and Lester Bailey -- all ran really well," said Coach Jenkins.
   Bailey finished first for the Cyclones in his effort for the 100-meter event.
   "Matt Young and Ross Chung ran good today, as they are still learning the change from cross-country to track," says Jenkins.
   The Cyclones have 29 boys dressing out, which is more than they've had in a pretty good while.
   "I feel good about what we are doing right now, but if someone gets hurt then we might have a problem," said Jenkins.
   Even though it was a rainy and cold afternoon, it didn't seem to hamper the Cyclone spirit, as a lot of the kids were asking to compete in different events.
   "It's rainy and cold, so that's commendable for these kids to want to come out and compete," says Jenkins.
   Girls coach Renee Bennett also says she was pleased with how her team faired in its first scrimmage.
   Valneesha Redd jumped to a height of 4-10, almost making the 5-foot mark in her freshman season.
   "A lot of them hadn't even high-jumped or long-jumped, because we didn't have our pits dug out yet," said Bennett.
   Megan Pierce, expected to be the best Cyclone prospect this season, turned in a time of 5:33 in the 1,600 meters.
   "We will be strong in the mile with Megan," Bennett said. "She has the school record, and is a senior this year."
   In the 200-meter hurdles, Katie Presnell, Cecille Simerly and Jessica Carpenter all had respectable times. It was the first time they had competed.
   Bennett says she is looking forward to the performance of Redd, who is coming along and is an all-around outstanding athlete.
   "Overall I think we have a pretty good team, especially with our distance and sprinters," said Bennett.
   Look for Ashley McFarland to do well in the hurdles, who had a good outing in the day's 50-meter hurdle event.
   The Cyclones appear to have a couple of weak spots, but EHS has the rest of the season to generate improvement.
   "We need a little more shot distance and work on some of our field events," said Bennett.