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Wells takes third at meet

Momentum is on the side of CJ Wells for his senior campaign for the Unicoi County High School track and field program.
Wells earned third-place honors for the 60-meter hurdles during the Tennessee High School Indoor Track and Field State Championships held at East Tennessee State University on Saturday, Feb. 28.
After passing through the preliminaries with a time of 9.11, Wells moved to the finals. There, the senior shaved time off his preliminary results and crossed the finish line at 9.06.
Walter Pate, of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, finished first with 8.35 and Kyle Nabe of Jefferson County took home second with 8.77.
“All of the talent here is top notch,” Wells said. “It was great competition. A guy from Memphis came up here and ran, like, an 8.09. That’s ridiculous, but it is great just to have an opportunity to compete with guys like that.”
Wells qualified for the championships after finishing seventh in the 60-meter hurdles during the ETSU Invitational back in January.
New UCHS track and field head coach Megan Davis had nothing but praise for her senior runner.
“It is great to have somebody as invested into the sport like CJ,” said Davis, who served as assistant with the program last year. “He’s a leader to our kids. We’re a rebuilding program. Coach (Diane) Lynch, coach (Thad) Higgins and I are hoping to rebuild the program and get it back to the status Unicoi County track and field had, so it is a great accomplishment.
“I’m excited for him, too. He’s put a lot of work into this and it’s great to see him preseason getting some stuff like this to help the confidence heading into the outdoor season.”
Wells burst on to the scene in 2014 competing for UCHS. He came just shy of heading to the outdoor track and field competition in Murfreesboro that year.
“There’ll be meets this year where he’ll be that level people have to rise to,” Davis said. “I think it's just good for him to see this type of competition early. He’s a competitor and loves the competition. He’s not afraid to get beat if that means he’s going to get better. Like today, he dropped time from his prelims to the finals. He’s always willing to work and he’s a great kid.”
The Blue Devils and Lady Blue Devils open their track and field season on Tuesday, March 9, in Greeneville and it can't get here sooner, Wells said.
“Having this accomplishment for me before outdoor season starts helps me prepare,” he added. “With the new people we’ll have on the team this year, I want to go and in and tell them, ‘Hey guys, you can do this if you work hard and persevere through all the training days’.
“It is going to be a fun year.”