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icon University High pole vaulters star at state

May 22nd, 2015 11:54 pm by Jeff Birchfield

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MURFREESBORO — University High continued its strong pole vaulting tradition with a couple of top-five finishes at the TSSAA Class A/AA state track and field meet Friday at Middle Tennessee State University.

Jarod Smith skied to 13 feet and six inches and Salter Blowers hit 12-feet to finish second and fifth, respectively in the pole vault competition.

"I tied my p.r. for the third time this year so I'm happy with it," Smith said. "I haven't really improved so much height-wise this year, but I've gotten more consistent. It's nice to finish second, but I would have liked first obviously."

Blowers didn't have his best effort, but it was still good enough for both to earn All-State honors. He gave credit to UH coach Carlson Cox, who he called the best coach in the Southeast.

"It's a wonderful meet, something different than what we're used to," Blowers said. "I didn't do my best today, but I know I can come back next year and win it." Wilson Wade, whose older brother Devon, won two state pole vault championships for University High, later finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles to also be named All-State.

Elizabethton and Happy Valley each added All-State performances on the boys' side to the All-State efforts they got in the girls' state meet a day earlier.

For the Cyclones, Ethan Thomas went 21 feet and 1 1/2 inches to finish fifth in the long jump. It ended Thomas' celebrated athletic career at Elizabethton which also included being named All-State in football back in the fall.

"It's a great feeling," Thomas said. "It's bittersweet with it coming to an end, but it's time to move on and head to Eastern Kentucky and do some good things up there."

Thomas' accomplishment came one day after Emily Schubert finished third in the girls' discus and his younger sister, Autumn, also competed at the state meet.

Happy Valley's Demetrius Canter finished third in the boys' discus with a throw of 126-11. He joined girls' high jumper Brianna Buck as All-State winners for the Warriors.

Canter was one of only two competitors to have all four throws count and he saved his best throw for last.

"I just had a lot of inspiration, a lot of prayer," Canter said. "The people with me, they've helped me a lot mentally. I'm excited. I worked hard for this. The competition this year was so good. I want to come back and finished first next year."


© 2015 Johnson City Press



UH athletes star in 1-A/AA sectional track meet

May 14th, 2015 10:08 pm by Jeff Birchfield

picture KNOXVILLE — University High kept its tradition of pole vault winners alive, while the brother of the Bucs' most decorated vaulter won in another event at Thursday's Section 1-A/AA track and field championships at Christian Academy of Knoxville.

The Bucs' Jarod Smith led a 1-2 finish of himself and Salter Blowers in the boys' pole vault, while Wilson Wade was the champion of the 300 meter hurdles.

Happy Valley also had an individual champion as Brianna Buck was the winner in the girls' high jump.

In the competition between University High juniors, Smith skied to 13-feet to beat Blowers who cleared 11-feet-6.

"It's six inches lower than my career best, but I'm happy," Smith said. "It's great to go 1-2 and it's even better to go with a teammate to the state meet."

Smith added that it helped that conditions were ideal when he was attempting his jumps. He and Blowers didn't have to sit through the sun for hours and they competed on a nice, new track with a new jump pit.

Blowers also expressed happiness that the duo was able to qualify for the state championships again. Smith finished third in the state and Blowers was sixth a year ago, but both went higher than those marks on Thursday.

"It's pretty cool. We've worked hard throughout the season and we think we can do well," Blowers said. "We getting better and better every single day. Every day is different and every day presents a new opportunity."

Wade, the younger brother of UH's two-time state champion vaulter Devon Wade, ran 41.18 seconds to win the 300 hurdles.

"I've never won anything. I've always come in second or third," Wade said. "It felt pretty amazing to finish first and to qualify for state for the first time. I'm pretty psyched. I'm not as good as my brother was, but I'm making my way up. It's my first year doing the hurdles, but I'm decent at both jumping and running so I combine them pretty well."

It was Buck's first year competing in track, period. After coming into the meet as the No. 2 seed behind Sullivan South's Olivia Kent, the Happy Valley junior was the only female jumper to clear five-feet.

"It's my first time ever winning anything," said Buck after becoming the first Warrior athlete to win a sectional championship since 2007. "I was just arching my back and running hard at it. I think if I keep working and keep practicing harder, I can go higher."

Ethan Thomas of Elizabethton added to his decorated high school career with a leap of 20-09.75 good enough for second place in the long jump.

With the top two qualified for state meet and the rest of the field determined by the best third and fourth-place performances across the state, the Cyclones believe Emily Schubert's third-place throw in the discus will qualify her for state.

Elizabethton coach Amber Abel wasn't as confident about the fate of the boys' 4x800 relay team of Cody Baker, Austin Depew, Harrison Wright and Andy Johnson. The Cyclones came into the event as the No. 1 seed, but finished fourth.

Unicoi County is also looking at a couple of possible at-large bids with Laura Rogers' third-place finish in the pole vault and Stephanie Wisse's fourth-place in the 200.

University High's Grace Owen is also on the bubble after a third-place finish in the girls' triple jump.

Happy Valley had a couple more waiting news on at-large bids with Demetrius Canter fourth in the boys' discus and Daniel Runyan fourth in the pole vault.

Sullivan East's Luke Meade won the 3,200 and finished second to Grainger's Zach Long in the 1,600. Kendall Ivester finished second in the girls' shot up, while Peyton Kegley qualified in the boys' decathlon. Haley Rowe is also waiting on today's Section 2 and Section 3 results after finishing fourth in the discus.

The girls' state meet is scheduled for next Thursday at Middle Tennessee State University. The boys' meet is on tap for Friday.

© 2015 Johnson City Press


Congratulations to Jarod Smith and Salter Blowers who finished 1st and 2nd at the Sub Sectionals!!!   Now on to State on Thursday & Friday, May 21st & 22nd.  Go Bucs



Track Team Sectional Qualifications!  Congratulations to our USchool Track Team who competed in sub sectionals on Tuesday, May 5th. Many qualified for sectionals to include the following team members: 4x800 girls team (Cora Allison, Christina Fulcher, Ashley Daniel and Bekah Owen), 4x800 boys team (David Gantz, Ramiro Rodriguez, Caleb Turner and Nick Polhgeers), Grace Owen in triple jump, Bekah Owen in 800 meter dash, Wilson Wade 300 hurdles, 200m dash, 4x4 boys team (David Gantz, Moses Coley, Cannon Pack and Wilson Wade), Salter Blowers and Jarod Smith in PV. All team members mentioned will move onto sectionals on Thursday, May 14th! Congrats to all on a fantastic season!



Track News:  Congratulations to all Track Athletes who participated in the Times News Relay Meet. UH had several athletes compete in the meet which included Jarod Smith, who placed 1st for pole vault, Salter Blowers, placing 3rd in pole vault, Julia Gabel in pole vault, the Girls 4x800 which included Cora Allison, Christina Fulcher, Ashley Daniel, and Bekah Owen. Wilson Wade competed in back to back events for an excellent triple. Those events included 400m dash, 300m hurdles and 200m dash. Congrats to all athletes!  View Meet Results         


icon 2015 Track News!  Congratulations to the following University School Track Team members for recent wins in Pole Vault:

Jarod Smith - 1st place Tri City Championship;  2nd place Dan Crowe Relays; 3rd place Hardin Valley Invitational

Salter Blowers - 2nd place Tri City Championship;  5th place Dan Crowe Relays

Julia Gabel - 4th place Tri City Championship

Haley Dunn - 5th place Tri City Championship Way to go, Flying Bucs! 

More information on Tennessee Runner Website



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