Elizabethton fares well in Sullivan East meet

By Wes Holtsclaw

   BLUFF CITY -- The Elizabethton and Johnson County track and field programs got a good workout Thursday afternoon at Sullivan East High School.
   In a meet that included four Sullivan County schools, the Cyclones had the better event, with several athletes coming out with top honors.
   "We've got some sprinters with leg problems, so I'm disappointed in that," said Elizabethton coach Jim Presnell. "We've got some injuries, but the people who competed today competed hard, so we're pleased with that."
   The Cyclones followed up a hard week of practice. Several members of the squad had to fill in for races when others went down with injuries.
   "We ran hard all week. We didn't slow down to let our legs rest this week," Presnell said. "We've got a long weekend to rest up. Most of these guys, whatever they've got to do to be a part of the team, they're going to do it. We had a good day."
   It was the first event of the season for the Johnson County Longhorn team.
   The 'Horns' day was highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the 4x100-meter relay and T.R. Smith's sixth-place effort in the boys' shot put.
   "We'll be better when we have more kids out," said Johnson County coach Mike Atwood. "We're just looking to b
e more competitive. I was pretty happy. This was a big meet and there was some tough teams here."
   "We lost some good people last year with Matt Cornett, Courtney Shaw and Nikki Davidson that had been there for four years," he said. "Basically we're starting over and rebuilding, and looking to get better each meet."
   Elizabethton had several athletes participate in multiple events and excelled in team distance runs.
   The Cyclones were victorious in the boys' and girls' 4x800-meter relay.
   The girls' effort from Lindsey McAmis, Regina Basconi, Katie Presnell and Jessica Carpenter finished with an 11:18 mark, while the boys' Joe Basconi, Caleb McDaniel, Justin Cooter and Evan Lindauer clocked in at 9:12.
   Elizabethton also won the girls' 4x400-meter relay and finished second and third in the boys' 4x200 run.
   Among the solo victors for the Cyclones' track squad was Matt Young, who beat out two Sullivan Central Cougars to claim the top honor in the boy's 3,200-meter run with a time of 10:54.
   McDaniel had a strong day for the Cyclones, finishing second in the boys' 800-meter run, the 1,600-meter run and the 200-meter dash. Elizabethton's John James finished third in the 1,600 meter and fifth in the 800 meter, while Young placed fourth in the 800.
   In the 200 meter dash, Lady Cyclone Sheralyn Schmidt came away victorious with a 28.80 second time. It was one of her goals to clock under 30 seconds in the run.
   "I really wanted to break 30 and I got it, so I'm happy," Schmidt said.
   Cooter stepped up big for the Cyclones with a win in the 300-meter hurdles, while placing third in the 110-meter hurdles. He took the victory in the 300 race with a time of 45.41 seconds.
   "It was an okay run. I'm pretty disappointed that it wasn't better than my run (earlier this season) which was 44.9," Cooter said. "I've had a hard workout week, but it's all for the good."
   Former state champion Valnessha Redd didn't have one of her best days at the event, finishing second in the girls' high jump and third in the girls' triple jump. However, she took a victory in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12:99.
   "My marks were off and I couldn't get into the feel of the long jump and high jump," said Redd.
   Brad Osborne and Andy Hobbs were successful in field events for Elizabethton.
   Osborne finished third in the boys' long jump, third in discus and second in the shot put, while Hobbs finished third in the triple jump and second in the long jump for Elizabethton.
   Elizabethton will have time to rest for a big meet on Tuesday at Dobyns-Bennett before the big Vol Classic meet in Knoxville next weekend.