|Go time is nearing for UC thinclads |
|It’s go time for a group of seven Union City track standouts. |
With berths in next week’s TSSAA State Track Meet on the line Friday at the West Sectionals in Memphis, first-year UC track coach Darren Bowling is optimistic that a few of his hopefuls will advance by placing among the top two finishers.
“We’ve got a group of quality performers who have earned their way to the sectionals and I expect them to do everything possible to get to the big stage in Murfreesboro,” Bowling said.
For starters, Scott Huff and Dexter Hopson — who qualified for every event they entered at last week’s Region 7A-AA meet — will be busy men at the sectionals at the Mid-South Fairgrounds track.
Hopson, who competed in the triple-jump and the long jump last year at sectionals, will try his luck again in the aforementioned events.
Last year, Hopson placed eighth in the triple-jump and sixth in the long jump.
However, this season, the senior thinclad already has a Most Valuable Field Performer trophy to his credit, which he won at the 31st annual Rotary Relays.
Hopson will also be a part of the Twisters’ 400-meter and 800-meter relay teams with Huff.
Joining the duo in those relays will be Markeem Ware (a freshman that Bowling calls “the most exciting to watch in the future”) and Josh Nix, who is an added bonus for Bowling as he is trying to maintain his football speed by participating in track.
With four events on tap for both Huff and Hopson, Bowling sees it as another day at the office for his senior leaders.
“It’s just another day’s work for Dexter and Huff,” Bowling said of his senior duo’s busy schedule. “I am proud to have seniors like those two that know what it takes to get to the next level.”
Huff will also try to leap and run his way to the state meet by competing individually in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.
At the Region 7A-AA meet last week in Jackson, Huff placed second in the 300-meter hurdles and third in the 110-meter hurdles.
Meanwhile, in field event competition Friday, Wyatt Carr will get his opportunity to showcase his abilities against the best that West Tennessee has to offer.
Carr, who won the Most Outstanding Field Performer award at the “Best of the West” meet at the University School of Jackson earlier this season, can prove he is indeed among the top performers in the area with attempts in both the shot put and discus throw.
“I am very proud of Wyatt’s efforts this year and it would not surprise me one bit if he lets one fly that lands him in Murfreesboro,” Bowling commented.
Joining Carr and Hopson in field event competition will be Tony Wilkins and Nik Brooks in the high jump.
Neither Brooks nor Wilkins is a stranger to the thought of being a state champion.
Twice during each’s high school career, they were members of TSSAA state championship basketball teams at UC. Both were members of the Tornadoes’ 37-0 Class A championship team this past season.
“Nik and Tony are very competitive, as we all know from watching them on the basketball court,” Bowling boasted of the duo. “I only wish I had them a few more years because they have an immense amount of track talent.”
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.