Rockvale senior and Auburn signee Jakobe Tharpe had one goal besides defending his state record 110-meter hurdles championship in 2002.
He accomplished just that, repeating as champion in a time of “13.32” seconds Thursday in the TSSAA Spring Fling Track and Field championships at the Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium.
“My goal was to at least get to 13.3 and I made that,” said Tharpe, who was the only Rutherford Countian to win a state title. “I have to report to Auburn at the end of June, and I am hoping to get some work in on the track when I get there.”
Despite winning just one state title, Rutherford Countians had outstanding performances.
In the team portion, Rockvale’s boys finished fourth with 46 points, and La Vergne finished in a tie for 10th with Green Hill and White Station with 23 points. The Rockvale girls’ team finished seventh with a total of 26 points.
The hurdles was not the only medal that Tharp carried home as he finished fourth in the 200-meter dash at 21.13, and also was on two relay teams that finished third. The 4×200 meter team ran a 1:26.78 and the 4×100 finished fourth at 42.04.
Other relay team members on the 4×100 team were Michael Kindall, Jabari Frierson and Kasey Midgett. The 4×200 team consisted of Tharp, Kindall, Declan Cager and Dajuan-Thorton.
Also for Rockvale, Timi Williams earned a pair of medals in the shotput and discus. He finished third in the discus, tossing a 148- foot, 11 inches and took second in the shotput with a throw of 53-2.
“I wasn’t even in the top 100 in the shot-put or discus coming into this year, so I was really surprised that I medaled,” the sophomore Williams said. “I went from around 48-7 to 53-2 in the shot-put. I have to get ready for football season now.”
On the girls’ side for Rockvale, Eliza Ruch, who will be heading to East Tennessee State next season, medaled in four events. She finished third in the triple jump and 300 meter hurdles, finishing eighth with a leap of 36-1 and a time of 46.30 in the hurdles. She also finished seventh in the long jump and the 100-meter hurdles, leaping 18-0 and running a 15.13 in the hurdles.
Ruch started off Spring Fling with a sixth-place finish in the pentathlon with 2,938 points.
“I just kind of worked on the hurdles and got there and medaled, said Ruch, whose family moved to Tennessee from Texas. “This summer I am going to work on my jumps and hurdles and get ready for college.
“I love being in Tennessee because my family is all here, and I love the coaches and atmosphere at East Tennessee State. I’m excited to get over there.”
Another relay team that did well was the 4×800 relay at Stewarts Creek as they ran a new personal best and school record of 9:40.13. Team members included Bella King, Camryn Merryman, Ava Creger and Brea Vann.
“Before the meet, (Bella) King said lets knock 12 seconds off of our time, and we knocked 18 seconds off of our personal best,” Cregar said.
In the distances, Leila Hailey closed out a fine freshman season, finishing fifth in the 3200 meters with a time of 11:10.76.
John Sherman for La Vergne also had an outstanding meet as he placed second in the 100- and 200-meter races, running a 10.32 and 20.89 . TT Hill of Oakland took seventh in the 100 meters at 10.76.
Sherman also was on a pair of relay teams that medaled as the 4×100 finished third at 42.01, and the 4×200 team finished eighth at 1:28.41. Team members including Sherman were Jordan Earl, Tamarion Hill and Zion Griffin. Sherman will head to MTSU and run on the track that he ran on at Spring Fling.
“I love the coaches there and the atmosphere, and they gave me an opportunity,” Sherman said of his future career at MTSU.
Other field event medalists were Siegel’s Chase Bandy, who was fifth in the triple jump at 45-5. Jonathan Wade tied for fourth in the high jump at 6-4, and Jacolby Delk finished eighth in the discus throwing a 140-4.
Stewarts Creek had a pole vaulter finish fourth as Tim Alexander went 14-feet. Two others from Rockvale medaled as freshman Toju Williams finished fourth in the girls’ shotput at 37-1.75. Lewis LaGrant, who has committed to Memphis leaped 6-6 in the high jump to finish third.
“I knew what I needed to throw and do, but next year will be completely different,” Williams said.
Riverdale had Tayla Upshaw finish eighth in the 400 meters at 58.26. Also, Camryn Merryman of Stewarts Creek finished fifth at 57.39, and Kyla Joy finished sixth in the 400 meters in a time of 57.49 despite dealing with a naggin injury.
“I injured my ankle at the sectionals,” Joy said. “I feel like if it wasn’t hurt I could have gotten a better time. When I was warming up and moving around it still bothered me a bit, but I gave it a go.”
Siegel’s 4×200 girls relay team finished eighth at 1:44.81. Team members were Rese Matthews, Reghan Bandy, Kirsten Cochran and Kela McDaniels.
Blackman also had a pair of relay medalists as their 4×100 girls team finished seventh at 49.48, and boys’ 4×200 team finished seventh with a time of 1:28.11. Boys team members were Gary Willis, Guyon Young, Otto Adkerson and Jayden Guy. Girls team members were Ryann Scivally, Samara Schroeder, Jamaria Harnold, Zacarrah Nicholas.
“I thought we ran really well and our handoffs were good,” Schroeder said.
Others who medaled were in Division II-A from MTCS: Eli Wilson, third in long jump at 21-4; Gavin Seabolt, fifth in discus 124-4 and sixth in shotput 42-2.50.
In Class AA, Central Magnet was fourth in 4×800 relay in 8:25.65. In the 3200 meters, Ty Brown fifth time of 10:00.69, and Amaya Warren was second in triple jump second 33-8.