Champ UC boys are best scenario

Champ UC boys are best scenario
Champ UC boys are best scenario

Obion Central’s Kendrick Hardin (left) and Union City’s Chase Bowling talk during the Rotary Relays on Thursday.
There was no better way for the Union City boys’ track team to celebrate the relaunch of the Rotary Relays on Thursday.
The Twisters — hosting the event that is the longest running of its kind in rural West Tennessee after a two-year hiatus due to rain (2009) and track conditions (last season) — totaled 110 points and claimed their first team victory in over two decades.
UC’s team triumph was the first for a boys’ squad at the school’s home track meet since 1990 and just the program’s third in the 34-year history of the event.
The Twister boys’ other win was in 1978 at the inaugural Rotary Relays.
“This is the best-case scenario,” Union City boys’ track coach Darren Bowling said after the awards ceremony for this year’s Rotary Relays. “We got to showcase our new track and celebrate a win in front of the home crowd. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
All totaled, UC had only five more points than its closest boys’ competitor — Dyersburg (105).
“I’m proud of our the competitive spirit that we showed all afternoon and night,” Bowling said. “We were out to get points in every event we entered.”
Twister DeAndrez Williams was especially impressive for the local squad.
The Union City sprinter was named the meet’s Most Valuable Runner as a result of his individual wins in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes.
Williams, who joined Dean Lockridge (1990) on the short list of UC athletes named MVR at the event, also was part of the Twisters’ 400-meter and one-mile relay teams. The UC 400-meter quartet earned a gold medal, while the one-mile squad claimed second.
On the girls’ side, Union City was smack dab in the middle of the 10-team field with a fifth-place finish and 40 points. The Lady Twisters were only five tallies back of fourth-place finisher Fulton County.
Dyersburg ran away with the meet with 176 points. Mayfield was second with 86.
“It was a good experience for us,” Union City girls’ track coach Preston Martin insisted. “We got to play in front of the home crowd and I think our future looks bright.
“We have had a tough couple of weeks, though. We lost one of our anchors on our relay team (Shenisha Huff, knee injury) and a thrower (Amber Fair, shoulder injury). We already had low numbers to begin with, so I’m glad to see we’re pulling it together even without as many girls as I’d like to have out.”
On the boys’ side Thursday, Union City dominated the relay event action. The Twister relay foursomes finished no lower than third in any of its races.
The 400-meter and one-mile teams crossed the finish line in first as noted earlier. Williams teamed with Iroa Smith, Jamie Hyde and Tymaine Strickland for the victory in the 400. The 2011 Rotary Relays Most Valuable Runner combined with Strickland, Tyron Brown and Mitch Nieves for the mile triumph.
Meanwhile, the two-mile relay team (Daniel Williamson, Nieves, Brown and Brett Gore) earned second-place honors, while the 800-meter squad (Nieves, Hyde, Smith and Strickland) crossed the finish line in third.
Individually, Williamson also snatched the spotlight in the running events, earning second in the two-mile and sixth in the mile.
Other Union City boys that placed in the top 6 in a running event and earned points for the local team were Daulton Parish (fourth in the 110-meter hurdles), Strickland (second in the 300-meter hurdles) and Jamie Hyde (sixth in the 200-yard dash).
In field event action, Chase Bowling hurled the discus 114 feet, three inches to place first, while Keylon Hyde — who also earned third in the shot put — was fifth in the same event.
Twister high jumpers Michael Dysart and Jakyron Burnside were fourth and sixth, respectively, while Keontre Murrell also earned a tally for Union City with a sixth-place leap in the triple-jump.
On the girls’ side, Jasmine Dysart and Jackie Hudson were atop the list of Lady Twister standouts.
Dysart won the shot put with a top throw of 32 feet, five inches, while Hudson was second in the event (30 feet, five inches) and first in the discus (96 feet, one inch).
Lady Twisters Kierra Davis (third in the high jump), Nakiea Smith (sixth in the high jump) and Chloe Smithson (sixth in the one-mile run) all contributed points for their team.
In girls’ relay action, Union City was fourth in the 400-meter and fifth in the 800-meter. Aaliyah Daniels, Alisa Davis, Kierra Davis and Brandy Henry teamed up in both of those races.
Additionally, the co-operative team of Obion Central and South Fulton — billed under the SF banner — finished seventh in both the boys’ and girls’ standings.
On the girls’ side, the co-op foursome of Taylor Baker, Paige Hicks, Tamara Nettles and Tristin Terry got third place in the 400-meter relay, while the 800-meter team (Shannon Wiggins, Terry, Taleeah Cross and Nettles) was third in that race.
Co-op team members Nicole Storey (fifth in the two-mile) also added points for her team as did Wiggins (fourth in the 100-meter), Hicks (fifth in the 100-meter) and Nettles (third in the 200-meter dash).
Joshua Gale boosted the OC-SF boys’ team with a second-place finish in the one-mile and third in the two-mile.
He was the lone runner to gain points for the co-op team.
However, Anthony Roberson (fifth in shot put), Skylar Hopkins (sixth in shot put), Kendrick Hardin (sixth in discus) and Lucas Garland (fifth in the triple jump) all earned tallies for the squad.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at

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