Winning a state championship in any sport is a difficult task.
That is certainly what faces Union City’s four athletes set to compete in the TSSAA Class A-AA State Track Meet later this week in Murfreesboro.
Jackie Hudson will compete in two events, while Jasmine Dysart, Xavier Gilliam and DeAndrez Williams will all participate in one each when the Spring Fling moves to the Dan A Hayes Soccer and Track Stadium on the Middle Tennessee State University campus Thursday and Friday.
Hudson, Dysart and Gilliam will compete in the girls’ meet on Thursday, while Williams will be the Twisters’ lone participant in the boys’ meet Friday afternoon.
Hudson, a sophomore, has become quite familiar with the path from Union City to Murfreesboro.
She earned a spot in the state track meet last season and then helped the Lady Tornadoes’ basketball team reach its first-ever TSSAA state tournament this past March, reaching the semifinals.
This return trip for the track meet might also be considered a redemption trip for Hudson.
Qualifying for the same two events last year, Hudson placed eighth in the discus but was disqualified from the shot put event when she arrived late to the throwing venue.
Hudson and Dysart will face a tough field in the shot put this season.
Her sectional-winning throw of 33 feet, two inches ranks as the fifth-best among qualifiers, more than three feet behind Shemora Rogers. The Knoxville Austin-East sophomore comes in with a toss of 36 feet, five inches.
Dysart, a junior, was an at-large qualifier, meaning her throw of 32 feet, 11 inches ranked as one of the two best throws of athletes from across the state who did not earn an automatic bid.
Each of the three sectional meets sends its top two performers from each event to the state meet.
Then, the times and distances from across the state are compared to fill the remaining two slots.
Hudson won the discus at the sectional meet as well. And, while her throw of 103 feet is third best among those at the state meet, it is still just more than 17 feet behind top qualifier Tynesha Jones, a Stratford senior who enters fresh off a sectional heave of 120-01.
Gilliam, a sophomore who came out for the track team this year, has the No. 8 qualifying time in the girls’ 100-meter hurdles.
Clocking a time of 17.66 seconds at the sectional, she is just under three seconds off the pace set by Martin Luther King senior Amia Butler (14.79).
Williams rounds out the Golden Tornado field and will compete Friday afternoon in the boys’ 400-meter dash.
A senior, Williams won the West Sectional with a time of 49.64, ranking third in what could be a photo-finish field.
Christ Presbyterian senior Sam Cranford has the state’s fastest time at 49.145 seconds, while Spring Hill sophomore clocked a 49.20.
Byron Logan of Memphis Hillcrest was right on Williams’ heels in the sectional with a time of 49.81 seconds.
The girls’ discus is set to begin at 10:15 a.m. and the shot put will start at 12:15 p.m.
The running events will see A-AA, Division II and AAA run in that order beginning at 6 p.m., Gilliam’s 100 hurdles listed first on the schedule.
The boys’ running events will start at 5 p.m. Friday. Under the same format as the girls’ meet the day before, Williams will compete in the 19th race of the afternoon.
Published in The Messenger 5.23.12