Just relaxing and not worrying about anything worked best for Christian Waddey.
The Montgomery Bell Academy senior used a record-setting jump in the pole vaunt to help spark the Big Red to the team lead Tuesday in the DII Region track and field meet.
Waddey’s 15-1 leap tied his personal best and set a meet record as the meet opened Tuesday on the MBA track. He placed ahead of Brentwood Academy’s Ben Davies (14-0) and teammate Leland Howe (13-6).
“I just tried to focus and not worry about anything, just let my instincts take over,’’ said Waddey, who missed on three attempts at 15-6. He will be one of the favorites next week in the Blue Cross state meet at MTSU.
“I was second (in state) last year,’’ said Waddey, who set the school career record with 1,957 rushing yards last fall for the DII state football champ team. “I love competing at MTSU, their track is great and I’ve gotten that headwind behind me when I vaulted.’’
Waddey, who has signed with Virginia for track where he will compete in his specialty, broke a 10-year record of BA’s Andy Hobbs, who vaulted 15-0 in 1998.
MBA rolled up 117 points to 72 for second place BA, but the Eagles are expected to close the gap considerably when running event finals will be held Friday at 6 at MBA.
In the girls division, Ensworth teammates Anna Bowers and Chela Green finished 1-2 in qualifying in different heats for Friday’s 200 dash final.
“When Anna and I were freshmen, we talked about what it might be like by the time we were seniors and that we could compete for the state title,’’ said Green, who is finally close to full strength after battling through hamstring injuries last year. “We’ve got a great chance (next week at MTSU).
“I’m about 80 percent recovered,’’ said Green, who has signed with Georgetown, where she expects to run the 4X400 for the Hoyas. “My goal is to win the 400 in state. I’ve already won state in the 100 and 200.’’
Green qualified just behind Harpeth Hall’s Elle Del Favero in 400 finals.
Bowers, who won the region pentathlon last week, had the fastest qualifying time in the 200 at :26.05 to :26.35 for Green. But she was anything but satisfied.
“I ran a terrible heat,’’ said Bowers. “To improve on that, I’ve got to start eating better, get a better start and finish stronger in the straightaway. I’m aiming for at least a :25.5.’’
“Anna’s really come a long way in track,’’ Green said. “We’ve been pushing each other to get better.’’
Thanks to a 2-3 finish in the 3200 by Adelaide Freeman and Hannah Runyon-Hass, Ensworth took the early team lead with 35 points to 25 for BA. All girls field event finals begin today at MBA at 4.
BA senior Ben Davies, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, was second in the pole vault, second in the shot and fourth in the discus. He qualified for state decathlon last week and is three-time state champ.
“The biggest question will be the hurdles,’’ said Davies, who didn’t even run the event in the decathlon, taking a zero score, but still qualified by doing well in other events. “We’ll see how I feel in state, but for sure I’ll compete in all the throwing events.’’
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS: Father Ryan senior Kevin Carney won his specialty, the high jump, at 6-4 and placed third in the triple jump. MBA junior Patrick Crum won the long jump at 21-3¾ and teammate E..J. Vinsang took the triple jump at 40-3¼ and was third in the long jump. MBA’s Ben Bartholomew easily won the shot put at 54-10½ and was second behind Ensworth’s Sam Cooper in the discus. Ensworth’s Garrett Carmichael edged MBA’s Ryan Hill to win the boys 3200 run. BA eighth-grader Kaylor Murray won the girls 3200.
NCS FALLS: Nashville Christian School lost in the finals of the Region 5-A baseball tournament as visiting Cascade took a 7-3 win over the Eagles on Tuesday night. NCS (24-12) will visit the winner of Wednesday's Summertown-Richland game on Friday in Class A sectionals.
BGA’S MORRISSEY HONORED: Battle Ground Academy midfielder Stephen Morrissey was named Tennessee’s Gatorade boys soccer player of the year. The senior scored 15 goals and had 13 assists. He will play in college at South Carolina.
Today’s area schedule
Ravenwood at Franklin
4 p.m.—Upperman at Goodpasture
4:30—FRA at Lipscomb
Friday’s games (best-of-three)
Briarcrest at BGA
Father Ryan at Baylor
Brentwood Academy at ECS
Tipton-Rosemk. at Davidson Ac.
Harding Academy at USN
4:30—Ravenwood at Brentwood
Goodpasture at DeKalb County
5 p.m.—Loretto at Lipscomb, Burton field
Friday’s games (best-of-three)
BGA at Chatt. GPS
ECS at Pope JPII
Father Ryan at St. Benedict
Tipton-Rosemark at Davidson Ac.
TRACK AND FIELD
AAA Middle Region Sectionals
At Rossview High, Clarksville
Thursday, 3:30 – Field event finals, 3200
Friday, 5 p.m. – Running event finals
A/AA Middle Region Sectionals
At David Lipscomb
Thursday, 6 p.m. – Running event finals.
DII Middle Region
Today, 4 p.m. – Girls field event finals
Friday, 6 p.m.—Running event finals.
DII Team Sectionals today
3:30 p.m.—MBA at Mem. CBHS