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Track season amps up

Although the 2015 high school track season has been underway for the last month, the Tri-Cities Classic often serves as the area’s first major event and as a precursor for expectations come postseason.
This year was no different as local, regional and teams from around the state converged on April 3-4 at Kermit Tipton Stadium on the campus of Science Hill High School.
Daniel Boone and host Science Hill, who have established themselves as early favorites in the boys’ events, squared off many times during the meet, with the Blazers capturing several feature events.
In the mile run, Grainger County’s Zach Long finished first with a time of 4:17.08, but locals Alex Crigger (4:30.01) of Science Hill placed fifth and Boone’s James Garst (4:30.90) finished less than a second behind for sixth place.
Crigger and Garst also went head-to-head in the 2,000 meter finals with Crigger capturing the top spot with a time of 6:21.36 and Garst (6:28.28) finishing second.
Boone’s David Merriken ran to a fourth- place finish in the 110-meter hurdle finals with a time of 17:14 and ran to the top overall time in the 300-meter hurdles at 42.44.
Blazer Steven Carr (22.69) finished second in the 200-meter dash behind Jefferson County’s Gorel Soumare who posted a winning time of 22.67.
Boone’s Christian Stumpf also had a big day, posting the top time in the 400-meter dash of 51.56.
In one of the most anticipated events, Boone’s Adam Barnard (1:57.83) placed second in the 800-meter behind Long (1:54.31).
Of all the events, the relay runs proved to be the Blazers’ best, following first- place finishes in the 4×100, 4×200, 4×800 and the distance medley run. They finished second in the 4×400 behind North Buncombe High.
Other notable performances for the Blazers were Elijah Buck’s fifth-place finish in the discus throw and Byron Martin’s and Tristan McKnight’s fourth- and fifth- place measures in the long jump.
In the girls’ events, Boone’s Maria Chellah placed second in the 300-meter hurdles, Rebecca Arwood took sixth and ninth places in the shot put and discus throw, and Erin Fuller placed fourth in the high jump.
In the relay events, the Boone girls placed fourth in the 4×200, second in the 4×400 and first in the shuttle hurdles relay.