News to ‘Relay’ is relaunch of track meet in UC

News to ‘Relay’ is relaunch of track meet in UC
The annual Rotary Relays event in Union City is back on “track.”
After being taken off last season’s slate due to concerns over the running surface at Union City High School and rained out in 2009, the 34th edition of the longest-running event of its kind in West Tennessee is scheduled for Thursday afternoon/evening at War Memorial Stadium.
“We’re really looking forward to getting this thing kicked back off after a break,” Twister boys’ track coach Darren Bowling said. “We want to get back to having a track meet at our home place and I’m excited about showing off the new track surface. I think it’s one of the best in the state.”
The new track was completed at Union City early in the fall.
It has already been the host for a few small middle school meets, but the Rotary Relays have historically been the measuring stick in terms of track events in UC.
“I’m looking forward to getting to be a part of it,” UC girls’ track coach Preston Martin said. “I just hope the weather cooperates.”
This year’s event, which is set to start at 3 p.m., features nine schools participating — Union City included.
Other schools taking part in the Rotary Relays are Bradford, Dyersburg, Fulton County, Henry County, Humboldt, Mayfield, McKenzie and the combined Obion Central/South Fulton efforts.
Locally, members of the UCHS track team are certainly hoping to shine at the RR meet.
Discus thrower Chase Bowling, who advanced to the Class A-AA State Meet, is looking to impress the home crowd as is sprinter DeAndrez Williams.
Williams also participated in the Class A-AA State Meet last year.
Finally, distance runner Daniel Williamson is another performer to be on the lookout for.
Williamson has already competed at the state level this year — doing so as a cross country runner in the fall. He was the first UC cross country runner to accomplish that feat. Williamson did so in the program’s second year of competition.
On the girls’ side, Jackie Hudson — who was highly decorated at the middle school level — is among Union City’s top throwers, while sprinter Kierra Davis is also on the list of local athletes to watch.
Bowling and Martin both will be able to keep a lookout on their hyped athletes as Union City Rotarians conduct all of the events at the annual track meet.
“It’s so different from the other meets in West Tennessee,” Bowling explained. “The coaches, who are normally measuring jumps or keeping a stop watch, can just relax and focus on their teams because the Rotarians take care of all that. We (as coaches) can come and enjoy the meet. The Rotarians do such a good job of running the events and they know what they’re doing.
“It’s a great change of pace to not have to worry about keeping track of distances and times.”
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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