Lady Blue junior Devil Stephanie Wisse showed off her talents on the track last week with the conference meet around the bend.
Wisse earned first place in the 100-meter hurdles (17.28) and the triple jump (31-11.50) to spearhead a solid performance by the Unicoi County High School track and field program during a meet in Greeneville on Tuesday, April 5.
As a team, the Blue Devils finished fourth out of seven teams and the Lady Devils took fifth out of six squads. Other teams in attendance Tuesday included Elizabethton, West Greene, Greeneville, Gatlinburg-Pittman, David Crockett and Chuckey-Doak.
“It was crazy,” Wisse said with a smile after taking first in the 100-meter hurdles. “Yesterday at practice was the first day I practiced triple jump. I’ve been practicing the 100-meter hurdles for like, three days.”
Wisse also took second place in a 200-meter battle with Elizabethton’s Autumn Thomas. Wisse was just one of the Lady Devils to turn in standout performances at Greeneville.
Megan Todd and Madison Duncan finished first and second in the 3200-meter with times of 13:17 and 16:59, respectively. Wisse and Todd set the tone with their first place finishes and were backed up by their teammates: Jillian Taylor and Teah Sifferd brought in top 10 finishes in the 100-meter. Taylor also added a sixth place finish in the 400-meter and Sifferd finished in the top 10 in the long jump.
Other individual performances included: Daniela Martinez taking ninth in the 400-meter; Todd, Duncan, Alexis Harvey, Kaitlyn Tilson finishing in the top portion of the 800-meter; Tilson, Maria Rodriguez and Fernanda Murillo logged solid finishes in the 1600-meter; the 4×800-meter and 4×400-meter relay teams took second and third, respectively.
Laura Rogers took third in the pole vault, clearing 6-6, and Duncan took sixth with a vault of six feet. The event also saw Masie Honeycutt and Alexis Harvey compete in the pole vault, while Natalie Mendoza and Emily Williams rounded out the Lady Devils’ performers.
With a spike in numbers and teammates continuing to improve, Wisse said it is the job of the experienced ladies to usher in the new crop of athletes.
“You have to be a leader,” Wisse said. “You have to set a good example for the rest of the girls and have them look up to you. I hope I’ve been able to help the girls believe they can get better.”
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Blue Devil Jose Ortiz continued to set the tone for UCHS late week.
At Greeneville, the runner took home first in the 200-meter (24.45) and third place in the 100-meter to lead an overall successful evening, according to head coach Megan Davis.
“I couldn’t be prouder of all our athletes,” she said. “With all the hard work they’re putting in at practice, it’s showing at our events. Jose has been a big asset for us this season, especially with him balancing track and field and soccer. I talked with Coach C. (soccer coach Justin Ciralsky) before the start of the season about working together and it’s been great to have the support between the programs.”
Other Blue Devils also showed their merit at the meet. Cameron Higgins, Ethan Smith, Shane Armstrong and Gerardo Batrez hauled in top 10 finishes in the discus, while Higgins took fourth in the shot put with a toss of 36-10.
Andrew Bowen took home fourth in the 3200-meter and cleared 7-06 in the pole vault. John Campbell logged top finishes in the 800- and 1600-meter events, while Donnie Metcalf finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.
“Greeneville is where we are going to have our sub-sectional meet,” Blue Devil senior Warren Shelton, who took fifth in the long jump, said. “To be able to come over here and practice, more and more, will help us later on down the road to compete at the highest level. The better competition you see, the better you’ll compete.”
Much like the girls side, it is all about building up the program for the future, the Blue Devil senior said.
“The biggest thing is trying to be a good role model for the younger guys,” Shelton said. “Trying to set them up better for the future. We’re trying to build the track program back up, so it’s our job to set an example for the underclassmen.”
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The track and field teams returned to action on Tuesday, April 12, in Madison County, N.C., after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.