Lily Storey defended her state title in the 800-meter run, and seven other Tullahoma High School athletes medaled during the Class 2A TSSAA State Track & Field Championships held at MTSU on Tuesday.
In a tightly-contested battle, Storey edged out a victory over Volunteer High School’s Jacie Begley to retain the 800 crown. After keeping close for the majority of the race, Storey made a late push during the final turn, crossing the finish line at 2 minutes and 20:30 seconds, .62 seconds ahead of Begley, to win the championship. Storey stated that her practice time with THS assistant coach Chris Clemens greatly aided in Tuesday’s victory.
“It feels great to win back-to-back titles,” Storey said. “It was a really competitive race, and I felt like I was boxed out a little bit, but I felt like I had a little edge there. Coach Clemens and I have been working on several strategies this season. I like to keep an easy pace for the first lap and then use my kick and speed abilities to start to break away. Overall, I’m really happy about my performance, and I couldn’t have finished my high school career any better.”
Storey’s day didn’t conclude with the 800 run. She ended her evening by teaming up with Liliann Villimar, Sarah Eakin, and Eleanor Fults in the 4×400 relay. The Lady Wildcats earned state medals after they combined to take fifth place after finishing at 4:17.15.
The Tullahoma boys team also had four state medalists, including Jalen Hill and Andrew Ewing, who placed in their individual races as well as a pair of relay races. Ewing took third in the 200 dash, clocking in at 22.93, while Hill placed seventh in the 100 dash with a time of 11.49.
Hill and Ewing then teamed with Logan Prosser and Grant Allen to compete in the 4×200 and 4×100 relays. The Wildcats combined to take third place in the 4×200 relay, crossing the finish line at 1:31.61. They added a fifth-place finish in the 4×100 relay with a time of 44.34.
“I am so impressed with these athletes and their talent in track and field events,” said TCS Director of Schools Dr. Catherine Stephens. “This level of success doesn’t happen overnight. These achievements are a direct result of each student’s dedication and practice in their event. These results also serve as a testament to their coaches’ and families’ continued support. Our middle school athletes also had five state medalists, and I look forward to watching the Tullahoma track programs flourish over these next several years.”