Story and Photos by MAGGIE POPE
MURFREESBORO — Strong performances in field events early in the day led to Brentwood’s ultimate victory over Cleveland High School for the Division I Large Class state title.
The Bruins came out with 62 points, winning by only four over Cleveland at Middle Tennessee State University’s Dean A. Hayes Stadium on Thursday.
With the Bruins out of events after the 800-meter run, Brentwood head coach Steve Brock watched the last two events in suspense to see what Cleveland would do.
“Everybody’s maxed out on effort,” Brock said. “It comes down to the wire, and it’s exciting, but we’re nervous.”
The Bruins had eight top-8 finishers in the field events in the morning. Sophomore Jett Kinder placed in three field events. He won the high jump with a leap of 6-08.00, placed third behind teammate Garrett Lee in pole vault with a jump of 14-06.00 and finished sixth in long jump (22-03.25). Brentwood’s Carter McKechnie finished second in high jump at 1.98 meters
“It was extremely hectic,” Kinder said. “At one point, I took a vault, took a high jump and then ran over to the long jump and took a long jump.”
“The amount of points we got for our team, it’s incredible,” Kinder added of his one-two finish with McKechnie.
The Bruins also had point scorers in all three of the other field events. Avery Williams scored sixth in the triple jump (44-02.50), and Skylar Coffey scored fifth in the shot put (47-09.00) and sixth in the discus throw (148-02).
Max Benson added the final points to the Bruins’ score with a seventh-place finish in the 800-meter run (1:56.82).
Franklin High School tied Fayette-Ware for 15th overall with 14 points. The Rebels had an eighth-place finish in the 4×800 relay (8:20.53), a fourth-place finish for Solathus Johnson in the 400-meter dash (49.19) and a second-place finish for Stone Page in the discus (160-02).
“This is the most kids we’ve ever brought to State,” Franklin head coach Cormac Carolan said. “So, it’s a really good year for us overall. This is what they’ve been working on all season. This is what it all comes down to.”
Independence placed 28th overall with nine points. T.J. Sheffield placed fifth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.78. He also placed fourth in the long jump (6.95m) and 11th in the 200 (22.19).
Centennial tied for 32nd overall with eight points and Ravenwood tied for 51st overall with two points
Centennial’s Davis Bove placed second in the 1600 (4:14.55) and Gabriel Sleenhof scored Ravenwood’s only points with a seventh-place finish in the shot put.