By Keeli Parkey
Which female runner would win the Three Rivers Conference’s top award came down to a final race.
During the conference meet, held on Thursday, April 20, at Sullivan North High School, both Unicoi County’s Stephanie Wisse and Elizabethton’s Heather Feuchtenberger entered the 200-meter dash having won three earlier running events. Wisse had won the 100-meter dash, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. Feuchtenberger had won the 400-, 800- and 1600-meter races.
“Stephanie doesn’t usually compete in four running events in one meet,” UCHS head track coach Megan Davis told The Erwin Record. “We wanted her to compete for the Most Valuable Runner award, so she ran in those events. We knew Elizabethton’s runner would be competing for the award against her.”
Wisse and Feuchtenberger raced head-to-head in one of the 200-meter heats on Thursday, with Wisse besting the Lady Cyclone by less than a second to win her fourth race of the day and the award. Wisse was also named the conference’s Most Valuable Runner during the 2016 season.
“This was a very good meet for Stephanie,” Davis said. “She ran personal bests in the 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash. She also ran well in the 300-meter hurdles. The award is another notch in her belt. She is ready to compete at the state level.”
Other notable finishes for UCHS included first-place finishes by Andrew Bowen and Halie Hawkins in the pole vault competition. Because the pole vault event was not held during the conference meet, this competition was based on results from previously held sanctioned meets.
The Lady Devils 4×800-meter relay team also took first place at the meet. The team consists of Megan Todd, Kaitlyn Tilson, Jillian Taylor and Cheyenne Wilson.
Todd took second place in the 2-mile run and third in both the 800-meter and 1-mile races.
“Megan had a lot of running to do during the conference meet,” Davis said. “She performed well for us.”
Blue Devil John Campbell took second place in the 800-meter, narrowly losing to Sullivan South’s Zach Thompson. Thompson was named the Most Valuable Runner in the boys competition. Campbell also won third place in the 1-mile.
“John ran well during the meet,” Davis said.
Blue Devil Cameron Higgins won second place in the discus and third in the shot put. His shot put performance set a personal best for him, Davis said.
Tilson took fourth in the 800-meter. Taylor won fifth place in the 400-meter run.
“Both ran well and took on their roles for the team to help us get points for the team competition,” Davis said.
With the regular season coming to an end, Davis also said she is pleased with how the Blue Devils and Lady Devils are performing.
“We are where we need to be going into sectionals,” she added. “Our kids are peaking when they need to. They are feeling the success of their hard work. They are staying focused and are ready to compete. I am very happy where we are right now.”
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The last regular season meet for UCHS is set for Tuesday, May 2, at Science Hill.
Qualifying athletes will also compete at the subsectional meet on May 9 in Greeneville and the sectional meet on May 17 at Chattanooga Christian School.