MURFREESBORO – Tyler Black gave Oakland teammate George Gbesee all the motivation he needed Monday on the opening day of the L.D. Agee Rutherford County Championships at Riverdale’s Tomahawk Stadium.
The pair of two-sport athletes finished first and second in the boys triple jump with Gbesee, a Wofford football signee, winning with a leap of 40 feet 11 inches — six inches farther than Black.
“It’s great having Tyler out here with me,” Gbesee said. “We’ve always competed in everything we do — football, track, anything. Just to have him out here really pushes me because we both work hard in practice.”
Oakland leads the boys points standing after the first day. The girls running events will be held at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with the boys running events set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The entire meet is at Riverdale.
Oakland has 79 points through the field events to lead Riverdale (58.5) by 20.5 points. Siegel is third with 29.5 points. On the girls side, perennial power Riverdale leads with 71 points. Blackman is second with 45 points. MTCS and La Vergne are tied for third with 23 points.
Oakland’s boys garnered first-place finishes in four of six events. Oakland’s Troy Valdary won the high jump (6-2) and the long jump (19-5). Valdary beat out Riverdale’s Ty Chesterfield in both events.
Valdary said just being able to compete against the county’s best was motivation for him.
“I don’t look at this as bragging right,” Valdary said. “I just want to jump because I like jumping.
“I got into track in seventh grade. I’ve loved it ever since. This is just me expressing myself.”
Tennessee football signee Kyle Oliver won the discus (130-1) over teammate Dextur Hurd (127-9).
Other boys winners included Siegel’s Ross Sessions in the pole vault (9-0) and MTCS’ Nick Merritt in the shot put (46-3 1/2).
“It’s about six inches from my personal best,” Merritt said. “It felt good to win.”
La Vergne standout Aliah Cook was the lone female double winner. Cook, who has college offers from Austin Peay and Tennessee State, won the long jump (18-5) and the triple jump (35-8). She will compete in the hurdles Tuesday.
“I’m happy — I at least won,” said Cook, who acknowledged her distance in the triple jump wasn’t near her normal standards. “I’m ready. This is my last year to show out.”
Blackman’s Gabrielle Napper edged MTCS eighth-grader Mackenzie Harris in the high jump, clearing 5-0. Teammate Kalea Barnett won the shot put (37-8). Siegel’s Meg Tomayko won the pole vault (10-0). And MTCS’ Erin Mullins won the discus (93-10).
“I feel proud and thankful to God to have this opportunity,” Napper said. “I was just glad to help my team.
“(Harris) really pushed me a lot. It motivates me when you have that much competition.”
Riverdale’s lead in the girls standings came despite not having a single winner in the field events. However, the Lady Warriors’ Jasmine Mayes was second in the triple jump (33-4). Teammate Alexis Fortson was second in the shot put (32-9) and discus (93-0).
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.
L.D. AGEE RUTHERORD CO. TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
When: 4:30 p.m., today-Wednesday
Today’s events: Girls running events.
Wednesday’s events: Boys running events