By KEVIN WEAKS
DeAndrez Williams won it on points … barely.
Scoring a few more points simply by competing in one additional event, Williams beat out Union City teammate Daniel Williamson for the Most Valuable Running Events Athlete at the 35th Union City Rotary Relays Thursday at War Memorial Stadium.
Showing off their skill sets in vastly different events — Williams is a sprinter while Williamson is a distance specialist — each won three individual races.
Williams topped the field in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.62 seconds, clocked a winning time of 51.22 seconds in the 400-meter dash and gave his team 10 more points in the overall totals with a first-place run of 22,97 in the 200 meters.
Williamson, meanwhile, ran a total of 14 laps around Dave Shatz Track in winning the three longest events of the meet. The junior cross country standout, won the 3,200 meters in a time of 10:48.91, finished the 1,600 in just under five minutes at 4:58.16 and capped his gutsy effort with a time of 2:14.19 in the 800 meters.
Williams, however, got a boost with the baton as he teamed with Khiry Lewis, Iora Smith for a second-place finish in the 400-meter relay.
“DeAndrez and Daniel both did an outstanding job,” UC boys’ coach Darren Bowling said. “You can’t say enough about those guys, how hard they work and what they bring to our team.”
With Williams and Williamson leading the way, the Golden Tornadoes finished second overall in the meet with 129 total points. Dyersburg won the meet with 184 points.
It was that same pair at the top of the girls’ meet and in the same order as Dyersburg finished first with 141 points followed by UC with 94.
In addition to six first-place finishes for the UC boys, the Lady Twisters won twice as Jasmine Dysart had a winning throw of 32 feet, 10 inches in the shot put while Jackie Hudson had the top discus throw by measuring 90 feet, seven inches.
“Jackie and Jasmine did great in the throws,” UC girls’ skipper Preston Martin said. “They always do a good job, and they’re peaking at the right time with sub-sections coming next week.”
Making its Rotary Relays debut, Graves County was impressive by finishing third in both meets, the girls scoring 87 points and the boys totaling 77.
Williams won the running award for the second year in a row, giving this year’s meet a pair of repeat winners as Jolyta Taylor of Dyersburg took home the girls’ Most Outstanding Field Events Athlete award.
Chelsea Ladd of Dyer County was the girls’ running events winner while Juwan Galicia took the top award for field events in the boys’ meet.
Those efforts highlighted a day of impressive feats, maybe none bigger the one put on annually by members of the local Rotary Club volunteer their time and talents to put on what is considered the best track meet in West Tennessee and across the state.
“They did a great job, and they have a blast doing it,” Martin said. “They don’t miss a beat. If anything, it’s almost overkill because they are such perfectionists. Again, they put on a class operation, and we’re so glad to have them.”
Bowling echoed those thoughts, saying, “The Rotarians did a great job of running the meet, as they always do. It was a very good meet for us.”
Obion Central head coach Pam Daniel, who is guiding the Rebels through their own track season after combining forces with South Fulton last year, also expressed her admiration for the Rotarians’ work.
“This is the best meet we go to in regards to organization and adult supervision,” Daniel said. “And this level of competition is good for the kids.”
The Central girls were ninth with 20 points and the boys were tied for 11th with six points. SF’s girls were tied for 12th with seven points and the Red Devil boys tied for 11th with six points.
In addition to Williams and Williamson, Union City did well throughout the meet to reach its high finish.
UC started early, too, as Tristan Jeering was second in the shot put with a throw of 40 feet, 10 inches, and fourth in the discus by covering a distance of 108 feet, 111⁄2 inches while Keylon Hyde was sixth in the shot (36 feet).
Donte Simpson cleared the height of 5-8 to finish third in the high jump, while Keontre Murrell jumped 37-1 to place fifth in the triple jump.
The Twisters then placed in all 12 running events, winning half.
Simpson was second in the 110 high hurdles with a time of 16.38 seconds, and the 400-meter rally team clocked a runner-up time of 43.60 seconds.
Union City ran a 1:32.93 to finish third in the 800 relay, a 10:01 to place fourth in the 3,200 relay and a 3:52 for fourth in the 1,600 relay. Ricky Henry was fifth in the 110 hurdles with a time of 18:03 and eighth in the 300 hurdles in a time of 47.47.
“I’m proud of the way our guys ran,” Bowling said. “They like to run in front of the home crowd and they all did a great job today.”
Hudson and Dysart followed each other in the throws as Hudson was runner-up in the shot with a 31-3 and Dysart was third in the discus with a toss of 83-11. D’LeShae Olds cleared a height of 4-4 to place fifth in the high jump.
Xavier Gilliam was second in both hurdles, running the 100 in 17.69 and the 300 in 55.16. Both Leandra Moore and Tamara Nettles were third, Moore in the 400 with a time of 1:07.97 and Nettles in the 200 in a time of 28.22 seconds.
Union City’s 400 relay team (54.38 seconds) and the 1,600 foursome (5:04) were fourth, as was Chloe Smithson (6:23) in the 1,600 run. Aaliyah Daniels ran the 400 in 1:08.63, good for fifth, while Brandy Henry ran the 200 meters in 30 seconds for sixth place. With a time of 13.22, Kealie Reaves was eighth in the 100.
“The team as a whole did well,” Martin said. “I’m proud of them. We’re getting better each meet.”
Anna Parnell earned points for Obion Central’s girls in the two throwing events, placing fifth with a 79-31⁄2 in the discus and seventh with a 25-7 in the shot.
Central had two fifths, two sevenths and two eighth-place finishes on the track in girls’ competition.
For the Rebel boys, LaDevin Fair was sixth in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 41⁄4 inches and seventh in the 400 with a time of 56.01. Central’s other spot was an eighth-place finish.
Whitney Johnson gave the SF girls three points in the 3,200 run with a time of 16.05, while Taleeah Cross duplicated that point total in the 400, running a 1:09.
Published in The Messenger 5.4.12