By KEVIN WEAKS
Any state championship is tough to win.
This week, that will certainly be true for Union City’s entrants in the Spring Fling.
The Lady Tornadoes will compete for a total of four state championships at the TSSAA’s annual year-ending event in Murfreesboro. UC is competing for two tennis titles — doubles and overall team — as well as the discus and shot put at the track venue later in the week.
The Class A-AA tennis team tournament will have its semifinals today, beginning at 3 p.m., and the finals are slated for Wednesday at 1:30. The doubles tournament begins Thursday morning at 9. All tennis events will be held at Old Fort Park.
The A-AA girls’ track meet will be held Thursday on the Middle Tennessee State University campus.
Jackie Hudson, sectional champion in both the shot put and discus, and sectional shot runner-up Jasmine Dysart are back at the state meet this season.
The discus event will be held at 10:15 a.m., and the shot is slated for 12:15 p.m.
Depth has been the Lady Tornadoes’ signature all season, leading to a 15-1 record and a second straight state tourney trip.
UC features sophomore Maddie King at the No. 1 seed and then three seniors in Tara Elam, Ellen Bearden and Jenna Miller with freshman Alex Parks rounding out the lineup. Laura Reed Smith has also been a solid contributor for the Lady Twisters.
The other three teams headed to Murfreesboro are deep, too.
Columbia Academy (19-0), needed all its seeds to earn its first-ever state tourney appearance, beating Hume-Fogg 4-3 last week in the sectionals.
An 8-5 win by Samie Anderson and Baylie Farris in doubles clinched the win.
The Lady Bulldogs also feature Catherine Wolfe, Anna Grace Wolfe, Abigail Wolfe and Caroline White.
Seeking its ninth state team title, the first since 2008, Chattanooga Christian knocked off defending state champion Notre Dame and punched a state tourney ticket with a 4-1 win over Boyd-Buchanan in the sectionals.
Now 13-1 on the season, the club features Ellie Henry and Hannah Henry, Caroline Redburg and Sara Smith as singles players and doubles teams along with Gracie Smith and Emmie Cornell.
Christian Academy of Knoxville knocked off Unicoi County in the sectional match, getting its four wins at the bottom end of the ladder in both singles and doubles.
Winning were No. 3 Lauren Valeriano, No. 4 Caroline Murchison and No. 5 Delaney Dean in singles and the second-seeded doubles tandem of Valeriano and Murchison.
The team also features sophomore Leighton Porter, who will team with Valeriano, an eighth-grader, in the doubles tourney.
In the doubles tournament, King and Elam have advanced and will have their hands full right out of the gate in Chattanooga Notre Dame sisters Katie and Sarah Joyce, the Region 4 champions.
Hudson and Dysart are back in the track state finals — and Hudson is back in “The ’Boro” for the second time this year in search of a state crown after helping the Lady Twister basketball team finish as Class A runner-up in March.
Hudson has qualified for the shot put with the state’s second-best throw at 35 feet, three inches, but that is a shade less than three feet behind Shenora Rogers of Knoxville Austin-East (38 feet, 23⁄4 inches).
Dysart’s sectional throw of 34 feet, four inches seeds her fourth in the field.
The discus group features two athletes who qualified with throws of over 100 feet. Makayla Kingston of Stone Memorial comes in off a toss of 110 feet, nine inches, while Rogers threw for 103 feet last week.
Four more athletes eclipsed 90 feet on their qualifying throws, putting Hudson’s 88-8 ranked seventh in the field.
Published in The Messenger 5.21.13