From MoPattonSports.com –
Diamond Battle celebrated her scholarship signing in fine fashion Friday, as the Battle Ground Academy senior ran a 12.29-second 100 meters to win the Hill Center Invitational at Harpeth Hall.
“During the regular season, I don’t get to run with a lot of competition like this,” Battle said. “I like running with people that are going to give me a run for my money. It pushes me to be a better athlete.”
It’s a much-needed push for Battle, who settled on Austin Peay earlier this week.
“I didn’t think I was going to like it, because I’ve run up there before,” she said. “But I got there for my visit and loved the campus and I loved the team. I know they’re going to give me some competition, and I like that because I’m very competitive.”
Battle had the best qualifying time in the 100, a 12.26 that she didn’t quite match in the finals.
“I was aiming for 11.9 (in the finals),” she said. “I didn’t get it, but I know I’ll get it at state. I loved coming out of the blocks. My drive was amazing, and I just tried to keep my knees up.”
Looking to double in the 200, Battle had to settle for second place as Ensworth’s Tyra Gittens won with a 24.80. Gittens also won the 100 hurdles, running a 14.42.
“I’ve been trying to get in the 24s; I’ve been in the 25s for a good two years,” Gittens said. “I’ve been working on my finish. I’ve been running a lot of 400s and 300s in practice to work on my finish and stamina. I think my start is doable.
“In the hurdles, I think I need to be faster between the hurdles. Once I do that, I think I can hit the 13s.”
Gittens was one of two girls runners to double Friday, along with Brentwood’s Hailey Hendry, who swept the 1,600 and 3,200.
On the boys side, Brentwood Academy’s George Patrick followed up on his long jump victory earlier in the week with by taking the 110- and 300-meter hurdle titles Friday. Patrick also anchored the Eagles’ winning 1600 relay.
His 14.08 in the 110 hurdles set a program record, bettering his previous mark of 14.12 established at last year’s state decathlon.
“I can get faster,” the Texas signee said. “After the first hurdle, it was one of my smoothest races. I was a little high going into the first hurdle. I knew it from the start. Also, I was tired at the end. By the time the state meet rolls around, I won’t be tired at the end of the race.”
Maplewood’s Jeremy McDowell also doubled, winning both the 100 and 200 sprints.
“It’s just been about training and working hard, and my teammates pushing me,” said McDowell, who ran a 10.77 to win the 100 and a 21.92 to finish just ahead of Stratford’s Corey Simmons in the 200.
“I’ve been running 400s to work on my endurance,” he said. “For three days of running this week, I think I did pretty well. I don’t think (the 200) would have been that close if I hadn’t done three days of running and run in the 400.”
Hill Center Invitational
at Harpeth Hall
3200 – Taylor Vroom (Bwd), 9:16.48; 4×800 – Brentwood Acad., 8:24.31; 110 hurdles – George Patrick (BA), 14.06; 100 – Jeremy McDowell (Mwd), 10.77;1600 – Carter Cheeseman (BA), 4:22.78; 4×100 – Stratford, 42.76; 400 –Tre’Von Sanders (Str), 49.20; 300 hurdles – George Patrick (BA), 38.19; 800 –Ryan Lee (Bwd), 1:57.93; 200 – Jeremy McDowell (Mwd), 21.92; 4×400 –Brentwood Acad., 3:24.31.
4×800 – Ravenwood, 9:42.64; 100 hurdles – Tyra Gittens (Ens), 14.42; 100 –Diamond Battle (BGA), 12.29; 1600 – Hailey Hendry (Bwd), 4:59.76; 4×100 –Pearl-Cohn, 49.21; 400 – Riley White (Rvd), 58.68; 300 hurdles – Grenetria Shell (EN), 44.30; 800 – Katie Coker (LA), 2:21.49; 200 – Tyra Gittens (Ens), 24.80; 3200 – Hailey Hendry (Bwd), 11:10.31; 4×400 – Ravenwood, 3:57.73.