Preps: Brentwood Academy sweeps Hall relays, sets sights on two more state titles

Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 7:29pm

Brentwood Academy likes the similarities between their track and field teams in mid-April and last year’s at the same time.

Just as it did in 2012, BA swept the boys and girls championships at the 27th annual Doug Hall Relays over the weekend. Last time, the Hall Relays served as a springboard to Division II state championships a month later.

BA’s boys have won two straight state titles and – even with some concern over the health issue of one of their top participants – they appear to have a great shot at a third.

The Eagles swept the 4x100, 4x200 and the 800 sprint medley and were second to Brentwood High in the 4x1600 and distance medley races Saturday at the Montgomery Bell Academy track.

“I like our team and how we’re coming along,” coach Brad Perry said. “As for our chances at state, teams like MBA and Memphis University School are very solid, and McCallie is always good.”

Of concern to Perry and BA is the condition of Jalen Ramsey, the 2012 D-II decathlon champion who sustained a hip flexor injury while competing in the long jump early Saturday. He easily helped his team win that event with a winning 22-5 jump.

He returned to anchor the Eagles’ winning sprint medley relay team with an impressive 48.5 split as he, C.J. Sanders, Prince Momodu and DeMontre Wade broke a 19-year-old meet record with a time of 1:31.57. Hunters Lane set the previous mark (1:32.1) in 1994.

“We’ll be careful with him and not push him too much,” Perry said.

Ramsey turned down a trip to see the spring football game at Florida State, where he signed, spring game which also was Saturday to compete with his team.

BA finished  with 89½ points, well ahead of MBA (61), Brentwood (52) and Ensworth (45½). The margin was more impressive than last year, when the Eagles edged Brentwood by just four (70-66).

Brentwood’s Aaron Thomas was named most outstanding boy of the meet. He was part of three winning quartets, anchoring the 4x800 and 4x1600 teams and running leadoff on the distance medley.

• GIRLS WIN BIG: Brentwood Academy’s girls rolled to one of the most dominant Hall Relays days in meet history. The Eagles scored 96 points and more than doubled the total of second place finishers Hillsboro and St. Cecilia, which had 43 each. Brentwood scored 40.

“I was really pleased with how focused we were in going out and doing what we needed to do, veteran coach Cathy Cheeseman said. “We have a lot of team depth, which is key, but Harpeth Hall and Baylor also have a lot of depth, and they will be formidable [at the state meet]. Also, University School of Nashville and Ensworth are coming on fast.

“A lot depends on injuries and who stays healthy.”

Thanks in good part to the performances of Ole Miss-bound twins Breanna and Deanna Tate, the Eagles swept the 4x100, middle distance medley and sprint medley relays.

Abby Whitehurst, Deanna, Molly Malone and Breanna Tate broke a 12-year-old record in the 4x100 when they ran 47.66. That bettered the mark of Glencliff of 47.76, set in 2001.

Breanna, who anchored the 4x100 and sprint medley races, was named outstanding girl of the meet. Deanna, on the third leg of the sprint medley, handed off to her sister, who flew down the straightaway to an easy win.

“This definitely gives us momentum as we head into our next meets and into state,” Breanna said after picking up her award. “It’s amazing and we have worked so hard. I am so proud of our team.”

• OTHER MEET HIGHLIGHTS:

 -- The pole vault awards went to Justin Lankes of CPA (boys), who cleared 14-6, and Catherine McDowell of Harpeth Hall (girls) at 10-6.

 -- Veteran Martin Luther King boys coach Stephen Dorris won the Special Recognition award.

-- Harpeth Hall’s distance runners included Emma Sloan, the daughter of former Olympian and Harpeth Hall state champ Margaret Groos.

-- Joe Irby threw the discus 151 feet and shot 53-11 and helped Franklin Road Academy win those events.

-- Antioch’s DeAiris Weakley ran anchor on the winning 4x200 relay and also ran on the second place on the 4x100 and sprint medley teams.

Briefly

• The next big local meet will be the Great Eight at Vanderbilt, beginning 3 p.m. Tuesday with the pole vault. Running event finals are at 5:30 p.m. The meet brings participants with the eight best times and distances so far in the spring from the Mid-state area and combines all classes (AAA, A/AA and D-II).

• The Buster Relays, primarily a Class A/AA event, runs Friday and Saturday at Franklin Road Academy after they were moved there from old Tennessee Prep School.

• The six finalists for the Moss-Oliver basketball awards have been announced. They include: Boys – Gunnar Miller (Davidson Academy), Jacob Uskavitch (Hume-Fogg) and Jacob Seloff (Hume-Fogg). Girls – Lauren Thompson (CPA), Tanginique Nowlin (Ezell-Harding) and Warner Tidwell (Harpeth Hall).

Winners will be announced at following a luncheon Wednesday at Swett’s Restaurant.

• The final two high school baseball games of the season at Vanderbilt are scheduled for Hawkins Field Monday afternoon.

Brentwood Academy and Pope John Paul II, two of the top teams in DII-AA, will play at 4 p.m., followed by Battle Ground Academy and Columbia at 7 p.m. They are the fifth and sixth prep games of the season to be played at Vanderbilt, which offered the use of its field to area teams recently.

• The first Cane Ridge High Golf tournament, which will be held to raise funds for the school’s football program, will be Monday, April 29 at Pine Creek Course. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. To enter, call football coach Jonathan Parks at 687-4000.