Spring’s the thing for county athletes

Maryville’s Riota Yoshita, right, and Lucas Kelley hope to improve on last year’s semifinal finish in the state doubles tournament.

Maryville’s Riota Yoshita, right, and Lucas Kelley hope to improve on last year’s semifinal finish in the state doubles tournament.

Blount County’s largest ever showing began making its way to the Spring Fling state championships in Murfreesboro on Monday.

Alcoa junior JaRon Toney, the county’s lone participant in either the state decathlon or pentathlon, got things started on Monday and Tuesday. In only his second-ever decathlon, the football running back would finish seventh. The Maryville High School softball team began play on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over Houston. Alcoa became the first school in the county to send a soccer team to Murfreesboro, with the Tornadoes opening Class A/AA play with a quarterfinal match on Wednesday.

Maryville’s Lucas Kelley and Riota Yoshida are representing tennis, looking to improve on a runner-up finish in last year’s state doubles tournament.

Track and field?

We’re loaded.

William Blount discus thrower Madison Borden and Maryville sprinter Julia Petree (400 meters) represent Blount County’s top qualifiers in the girls’ field, both entering the state meet seeded third in their respective events. Rebel distance machine Clint McKelvey enters with the county’s top seeding on the boys’ side, the Maryville junior going in with the second-best qualifying time at 3200 meters, less than a second behind the leader.

Girls’ preliminaries for track and field began Wednesday, with finals set for this afternoon, coinciding with qualifying in the boys meet. Boys’ finals are scheduled for Friday, with Spring Fling concluding on Saturday with the Class A/AA and AAA soccer finals.

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