By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
MURFREESBORO — Jackie Hudson has heard all the jokes.
She laughed out loud when asked if her first trip to the state track meet “left her hungry for more.”
The Union City High School junior indeed might not ever live down a bizarre incident two years earlier at this venue, though she had a different reason to smile Thursday after her third consecutive appearance in the BlueCross Spring Fling.
Hudson placed third in the shot put at Middle Tennessee State University, her best finish in a succession of field event showings at the state level. She also earned the Lady Twisters points with a seventh-place standing in the discus.
Teammate Jasmine Dysart was fifth in the shot put competition after finishing third in the event a year ago.
As a freshman, Hudson never got the chance to throw the shot in the state meet despite qualifying due to a weather-related timing mix-up that had her and coaches Darren Bowling and Preston Martin eating lunch at a nearby Subway when her the competition was held.
There was a misunderstanding concerning whether the start time had been pushed back an hour, and meet officials said they had no choice but to disqualify Hudson when she wasn’t there for the beginning.
Unfazed then, the personable Hudson was equally unbothered Thursday while joking good-naturedly with Dysart, head coach Nelson Youngblood and this reporter beforehand and after an admittedly-disappointing showing in the discus in which she scratched on three of her four throws.
“Whoever finishes higher gets to ride in the front seat on the way home,” a grinning Hudson said to Dysart.
Hudson then, reminded Dysart of her “shotgun” status after both stepped off the medal stand.
Neither UC competitor ventured far from the check-in tent, and they were there a good hour before the event was scheduled to begin — just to be safe.
The third of Hudson’s four tosses traveled 34-61⁄2 and was her best to put her behind only winner Shewora Rogers of Austin East (37-111⁄2) and Curiesha Ford (36-31⁄2) of West Greene.
Hudson’s other throws traveled 32-101⁄2, 34-2 and 33-01⁄2, all short of the 35-3 she threw to win the sectionals in Memphis.
“I’m excited for Jackie — both for what happened in the past and because she has another chance next year to come back and better that finish,” Youngblood said.
Hudson finished seventh in both the shot and discus last year as a sophomore, throwing 30-11 and 86-1, respectively.
In this year’s discus contest, Hudson was actually made to use a fellow competitor’s discus when her’s was ruled the correct weight, but wrong size in circumference. She said it was the same one cleared in the Memphis sectional competition.
Hudson did get off a throw of 56-1 on her final attempt for seventh place.
Dysart, a senior, stayed calm before the competition by knitting what she insisted would eventually be a scarf.
“I learned how on Youtube,” she insisted. “I’ve already made a blanket and a towel.”
When it came time to throw, Dysart hurled the shot 29-91⁄2, 32-13⁄4, 31-93⁄4 and 32-91⁄4 — the final toss good for fifth among eight competitors.
She said she plans to attend Victory University in Memphis and major in psychology and proudly noted that she and her mother, Yolanda, would both be graduating this year — daughter from UCHS and mom from Dyersburg State with a degree in nursing.
“Certainly would’ve liked to see Jasmine get another Top-3 finish, but a big farewell and good luck to her as she moves on to the next chapter in her life,” Youngblood said. “Hopefully, she’ll get the opportunity to stay involved with track in college like she wants.”
Union City finished with 12 total points to place 21st in the 44-team field.
Lipscomb was the champion with 65 points, far ahead of Martin Luther King with 48.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.24.13