The 22nd annual Doug Hall Relays this weekend on the Montgomery Bell Academy track will signify the start in earnest of the Nashville track season.
Once again, host MBA and Brentwood Academy are expected to fight it out for the boys championship, while Brentwood Academy and Harpeth Hall are the expected top teams in the girls division.
The boys discus will open the meet events Friday at 3:30. The field events will continue Saturday at 8 and 9:30 a.m., with the first running event – the girls 4X1600 relay – set to start at 11 a.m. A Most Valuable Athlete will be selected for both boys and girls.
The prestigious event will run under an all-relays format, even in the field events where the totals of a school’s top three distances will be added together to compile a score.
The meet began in 1987 and was named in honor of the late Hillwood High coach who died in ’86 and was one who put a strong emphasis on the relay events.
“We have about 20 boys and 20 girls teams coming, along with about 10 freshman teams,’’ said meet official Bill Compton of MBA. “The field looks really good this year, and we may have a few records in jeopardy.’’
Brentwood Academy senior Ben Davies, the three-time DII boys state decathlon champ, is expected to give the Eagles another strong push toward the title.
Davies, a Florida signee who has won the Most Valuable Athlete of the meet the past two years, is especially strong in the pole vault and hurdles events.
Some of the other top participants expected are MBA’s Christian Waddey (pole vault) and Patrick Crum (long jump), although Crum is just coming back from a knee injury.
Defending champ BA edged MBA last year by half a point to win the boys division, which wasn’t decided until the final race.
Harpeth Hall beat out second-place BA 89-75 last year after the two had tied for the title the year before, which was a first for the meet.
One of the event highlights is the shuttle hurdles relays where team members run one leg, then the second and third runners go in opposite directions after reaching their partner.
Morgan McVickers gives Harpeth Hall a lot of strength in the pole vault event. And Maplewood junior Laquoya Kelly was a top finisher last year in the discus and shot put.
Harpeth Hall has won 12 of the previous 21 girls titles and Hillwood four. MBA has won 11 boys crowns to five for Brentwood Academy.
Ryan and Lipscomb are also expected to challenge in both boys and girls divisions.