Seymour sweeps county track and field titles
Victoria Nelson spent her Sunday riding 12 hours in a car back from the beach. A day later, the Seymour junior won four events at the county track and field championships.
“Being able to come back and just pick up those four wins feels good,” Nelson said. “I’ve been at the beach for a week and just relaxing. It just feels really good, boosting my confidence level.
“The UT meet (on April 12th), I didn’t do as good as I wanted to.”
Nelson got back to work and helped the Eagles dominate in the field to take the boys and girls titles at Pigeon Forge. The Eagle girls had 65 points to beat second-place Gatlinburg-Pittman (52 points). Pigeon Forge was third with 39 points while Northview Academy had 22 points.
Nick Sexton won three field events to lead the Seymour boys to 62 points. Pigeon Forge was second with 56 points while G-P (43 points) and Northview Academy (21 points) came in third and fourth. Sevier County did not attend the meet.
Nelson picked up wins in the long jump (12 feet, nine inches), triple jump (28-3), discus (103-3) and high jump (4-8). Sexton won the triple jump (36-11), shot put (39-2) and the long jump (19-6).
Monday’s meet followed a spring break that was mostly that for the county’s athletes. The Tigers’ Logan Sullivan, who was third in the 3,200 meters behind Seymour’s Patrick Schumacher (11 minutes, nine seconds) and Jonathan Gorenflo (11:31), said he spent much of the first half of the previous week resting. He finally put some workouts in later in the week and it seemed to pay off when he logged a sub-sectional qualifying time of 11:33 with a furious kick on the final lap.
“I’m not a real big fan of the two-mile,” Sullivan said. “But I knew I had to kick it in and actually get up there, especially after (coach Carrie Bailey) told me what my time was at the beginning of that last lap.”
Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Jeremy Odom, who helped the Highlanders’ 400-meter relay team to a victory (45.31) while finishing second to Sexton in the long jump (19-5 1/2), said it wasn’t easy to come right off a school vacation and into a championship meet. But the senior likes to compete.
“You just kind of forget about everything (during break),” Odom said. “‘Oh, track meet tomorrow. Got to get my stuff ready.’”
Odom said he believes the Highlanders’ relay team has a shot at dropping the couple seconds it needs to set a school record with some work on exchanges over the season’s final couple of weeks.
One team that has been setting school records all year is Northview Academy. In its first year of athletic competition, the Cougars’ eighth and ninth graders continue to perform well for coach Todd Loveday.
Monday was another strong outing in the team’s first county championship. Northview’s girls won the 1,600-meter relay while Dakota Messer was third in the boys long jump.
“We’ve been competitive,” Loveday said. “We’ve beaten some teams on team scores and we’ve had some individual first-place runs. We’ve got a chance to be a good track team.”
There have been even stronger flashes of potential from Seymour’s Camille Davis over the last two years. The sophomore won the 100 (12.72) and the 200 (26.44) on Monday.
She was eighth in the sectionals last year in both events. After a week away, Davis said the heat and nerves were her toughest foes in the county meet.
“My nerves are the hardest thing for me pretty much. I ran once (over spring break) and that was pretty much it. It was really a test today. I’m feeling pretty good.
“I went to sectionals last year as a freshman so I’m feeling pretty decent.”