Jackie Hudson is going back to Murfreesboro. And, she will be doing double duty.
The Union City sophomore won both the shot put and discus events at the Class A-AA West Sectional Track Meet Friday in Memphis.
She will be joined by Lady Tornado teammates Xavier Gilliam and Jasmine Dysart in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles and shot put event, respectively, and Golden Tornado boys’ runner DeAndrez Williams in the 400-meter sprint.
Williams showed off his speed and stamina in one of the toughest track events with a first-place finish.
Gilliam finished second overall in her hurdle event, while Dysart finished third in the shot but earned an at-large bid based on having one of the top two finishes among non-automatic qualifiers across the state.
The Twister foursome will now close out the 2012 season in the TSSAA Class A-AA State Meet later this week in Murfreesboro. The state finals will be held Thursday and Friday at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.
The track complex is, literally, a few throws from the Murphy Center, where Hudson played two games in the single-A girls’ basketball state tournament back in March. Hudson helped the Lady Tornadoes to a semifinal finish in the program’s first-ever TSSAA-sanctioned hoops state tournament.
Fast forward two months, and Hudson — she qualified for the state meet last year as well — has thrown herself back to the ’Boro. She measured a throw of 33 feet, two inches in the shot put and 103 feet in the discus.
“Based on Jackie’s performances since she’s been in high school, we had high expectations,” UC girls’ coach Preston Martin said. “And, she stepped up. I wasn’t surprised she won. Jackie’s excited. She’s ready to go back and get a little redemption, and I think she has a legitimate shot in both events.”
Dysart had the best throw among the at-large qualifiers from across the state with a shot toss of 32 feet, 11 inches.
Gilliam qualified in the 100 with a time of 17.66 seconds and later competed in the 300 hurdles, where her time of 55.24 seconds was good enough for fifth place.
“Xavier came out for track this year, and we quickly knew she would be a part of our team,” Martin said. “She’s such a competitor, and I told her that if she’d embrace hurdles, she’d do very well. She’s cut three seconds off her time from the beginning of the season.”
By winning the 400 in one of four events in which he competed, Williams showed that not all the best speed from West Tennessee comes out of Memphis. He topped the field with a time of 49.64 seconds, coming in his third race of the day.
“If you come away from Memphis with a first place in a speed event, you’ve done something,” UC boys’ head coach Darren Bowling said. “There’s just so much speed in Memphis. I’m proud of him. He’s going to Murfreesboro with a shot at winning a state championship. He’s a senior, and it’s a fitting way for him to finish. He’s given a lot to track.”
Williams earlier joined Khiry Lewis, Tymaine Strickland and Iroa Smith for a sixth-place finish in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 43.40 seconds and quickly followed that with a fourth-place time of 11.01 seconds in the 100-meter sprint.
Williams finished his day with a time of 23.16 in the 200, finishing eighth.
Daniel Williamson qualified in the three longest runs and earned his team points in all three. But, 14 laps around the track for the second time in a week while competing against runners specializing in one event seemed to take a toll on the Twister junior.
Williamson was third in both the 3,200 and 1,600 meters, posting respective times of 11:08.80 and 4:50.01, and then finished sixth in the 800 with a time of 2:13.79. He missed out on qualifying for state in all three.
“Daniel was one of the few distance runners who didn’t specialize in one event,” Bowling said. “He ran the three longest distances, and that’s a credit to him as a team player because he earned points for our team. He probably could’ve done better by choosing one event and concentrating on it. The other runners were fresh, but he still got out there and competed.”
Union City competed in five other events, while Obion Central had two runners participating in the event. Central was slated to compete in two other events but chose to scratch in order to allow runners to attend the school’s graduation ceremonies.
For UC, D’Eleshia Olds cleared four feet, six inches to place fifth in the girls’ high jump, Tristan Jernigan was fourth in the boys’ discus with a throw of 116 feet, six inches, Donte Simpson was seventh in the boys’ 110 hurdles with a time of 17.29 and later teamed with Lewis, Strickland and Smith in the 4×200 to post a seventh-place time of 1:34.00, and Chloe Smithson was fourth in the girls’ 1,600 with a time of 6:23.98.
Kristin Storey gave the Lady Rebels a third-place finish in the 1,600 with a time of 6:07.53, while Brenna Wilkins was fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 15:00.31.
Both Union City teams placed fifth in the team standings, the girls with 46.5 points and the boys with 43 points. Central’s girls were 18th with 11 points.
Dyersburg won the girls’ meet with 131.5 points, while Sheffield took the boys’ sectional championship with 131 points.
Published in The Messenger 5.21.12