SpringFling: Well-rested Ramsey jumps into record books

Monday, May 27, 2013 at 6:31pm

No decathlon for Jalen Ramsey? No problem.

The Florida State-bound football star added one final jewel to his high school two-sport crown when he set a state record in the long jump and helped Brentwood Academy to a third straight TSSAA Division II track and field championship.

Ramsey was held out of the decathlon, which he won last year, but jumped 25-3 1/4, well beyond the previous record of 24-7 ½ set in 1997.

In retrospect, the decision was the correct one.

Ramsey had had an issue with a hip flexor since early April, which limited his movement, and his absence from the decathlon kept him fresh for individual events last Friday.

"He was 100 percent fine with it,” coach Brad Perry said. "As a result, he was as fresh as he's been since he did a full event schedule in the Great Eight [on April 16]. He had fresh legs and was as close to 100 percent as he's been the entire season.

"His long jump was almost perfect. He landed in the middle of the panel and had a great takeoff. It was the longest jump of the national outdoor season and it tied for the best of the year with someone who had the same distance in an indoor meet.''

Ramsey also defended his title in the 400 meters and was third in the 200 behind teammates DeMontre Wade and C.J. Sanders in a 1-2-3 sweep, which clinched the team title with 146 points, ahead of McCallie, 133.

"It was a supreme effort by everyone, and as a coach, I couldn't have asked for any more from our team,'' Perry, a former BA athlete, said. "Every one of our participants competed to the very best of his ability. We couldn't have been any better. Everyone showed so much heart.”

DOUBLING UP: Brentwood Academy maintained its track and field dominance in the Division II girls division as well, winning with 118 points, ahead of rival Harpeth Hall, 108 on Thursday.

The Tate twins, Breanna and Deanna Tate, capped a great career. They finished 1-2 in both the 100 and 200 and Abbie Whitehurst joined them with a third-place finish in the 200, their final high school race.

"I am so proud of their team, and Cathy [Cheeseman, the coach] does such an outstanding job with them,'' Perry said. "A of their girls were there Friday night, after they had won the night before, cheering us on. A lot of them train with us. And they made Friday night really special.''

Other SpringFling highlights:

• Barbara Lee Ball swept the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter races for the second straight year, scoring 30 points and guided Lipscomb Academy to the girls Class A/AA title. Lipscomb scored 65 points. Austin-East was second with 53 and M.L. King, which won the previous three years, was third with 48.

• MLK’s boys rebounded from a one-point loss in last year's meet and won the A/AA title convincingly this time with 60 points to Lipscomb Academy’s 40. The Royals' Justice Wooten (300 hurdles) and Sam Klockenkemper (1,600) won their races. Klockemkemper also was second in the 3,200.

• Don Freudenthal won his 13th state softball championship, four more than any other school, when Ezell-Harding tripped University School of Jackson 4-1 in the DII-A final.

"Yes, I'm superstitious,'' Freudenthal said. "But I have good team coming back and maybe I can get off that number with No. 14 next year.”

• Father Ryan (13-4-3) won its fifth boys soccer championship when it beat rival Montgomery Bell Academy 2-1 in the DII-AA championship match. Luke Strebel scored on a free kick in overtime late in overtime for the victory.

• Franklin High finally added a boys’ soccer championship to the school trophy case with a 3-1 victory over Farragut in the AAA final. The Franklin girls have won 11 championships, more than any other school.

• It was black Friday on the diamond for Goodpasture Christian.

The baseball team lost 5-3 to Pigeon Forge on a three-run rally in the seventh in the AA final. At 3-3, Pigeon Forge was down to its final strike before it started to score.

Lexington came out of the losers bracket and beat the Cougars twice 5-3 and 13-2 to win the AA softball championship.

• Brentwood High senior Maxx Lipman claimed his first state title He did not lose a set as he breezed to the AAA crown without of a loss of a set.

• Christ Presbyterian Academy's Lucas Spickard won his second straight A/AA championship. He also won every set.

• Harpeth Hall's Hannah Maclellan (DII-AA) and University School of Nashville's Francesca Eluhu (DII-A) reached the finals in their respective classes but lost in straight sets.

• TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said there have been no proposals to change the state baseball tournament format, which includes eight teams in DI and four in DII, with the possibility of playing two games in one day.