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Valued UC prize is experience

Valued UC prize is experience
Valued UC prize is experience

Union City’s DeAndrez Williams and track coach Darren Bowling look over the medal of Chase Bowling on Friday.
MURFREESBORO — If nothing else, Union City track team members DeAndrez Williams and Chase Bowling both got a taste of the best competition Tennessee has to offer at the TSSAA State Track Championships on Friday.
Williams, who will be a junior in August qualified for the state meet as a wild-card entry, finished sixth under the lights in the 400-meter at the state track finale on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.
Meanwhile, Bowling, who will be a senior in August, placed seventh in the discuss throw during the afternoon session.
Twister track coach Darren Bowling hopes the experience gained this year can pay higher dividends in 12 months time for both of his athletes.
“The experience of getting here and competing here is the biggest positive I can think of out of this,” the elder Bowling said after the Union Citians finished up competition at the state finals. “Now, they know what type of competition is up here. DeAndrez has two more years and Chase another and I hope they can realize there’s a lot of work to be done between now and this time next year if they want to be one of the guys at the top of the podium.
“They’re good right now, but they have to work hard to be great by this time next year.”
That said, Bowling, who has had at least one competitor at the state level in each of his three years as the UC track coach, believes their state appearance can serve as inspiration to their track teammates.
“Looking ahead, we’ll have two guys who have state experience on the track team next year and that’s never a bad thing to have,” he said. “Hopefully, the others on the team who came close this year will look at what Chase and DeAndrez did and aspire to get to this point, too.”
Williams, who ran about an hour and a half later than expected due to a thunderstorm that delayed the start of the state track meet, turned on the jets Friday with about half his race to go, moving all the way up to fifth before he was passed on the final corner.
His time of 51.63 was over a second slower than what he ran at the Class A-AA West Sectional (50.33).
Frayser’s Kevin Barfield won the 400-meter dash, finishing the lap in 49.18.
“I wanted to go out and do my best and I feel like I did,” Williams said. “I plan to work a little harder and come back stronger next year.”
Chase Bowling made his last hurl of the discus his best. The Twister thrower made a final throw of exactly 119 feet. Prior to that, Bowling had made tosses of 116 feet, eight inches and 103 feet, 10 inches.
 “I got to experience what it’s like and see what the competition is all about,” the younger Bowling said. “There’s a lot of good throwers up here and I need to add a little distance if I want to have a chance next year.”
David Lipscombs’s Chris Safley, a three-time competitor at the state level, earned his second straight state discus championship with a top throw of 146 feet, one inch.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at