McKelvey, Chaney, Petree steal the show in track

The Alcoa High School 4x200-meter relay of Brenden Rudd, Jalik Toney, Jaron Toney and Daniel Rockymore, left to right, claim their fifth-place medals. All but Jalik Toney, a senior, return for another run next season.

Photo by LuAnne Jackson

The Alcoa High School 4x200-meter relay of Brenden Rudd, Jalik Toney, Jaron Toney and Daniel Rockymore, left to right, claim their fifth-place medals. All but Jalik Toney, a senior, return for another run next season.

Clint McKelvey made history.

Jordan Chaney almost got two.

Julia Petree looked scary good in torching the field in the 400 meters.

The Maryville High School trio brought home the only state titles Blount County would fetch from the season-ending Spring Fling track and field champions last week in Murfreesboro.

McKelvey stormed into the history books Friday morning when he beat the pack to the line in the 3200-meter run by a comfortable margin. Winning in a time of 9 minutes, 7.27 seconds, the Rebel junior became the first-ever male athlete at the school to secure a state crown in a running event.

The win was made all the more sweet by virtue of distancing himself from nemesis Matt Sonnenfeldt of Knox West by seven seconds to make it happen. McKelvey and Sonnenfeldt had been the class of the state in the 3200 this season, with the latter always coming out on top.

“I was tired of getting second,” McKelvey said. “I’ve always been second to Matt.”

Chaney, a University of Tennessee signee, uncorked a withering kick in the latter stages of the 1600 later in the day, the burst pushing him well clear to a winning time of 4:13.19. McKelvey would follow him home in fourth.

“I wanted a state championship so bad,” Chaney said. “I didn’t want to wait for that 800.”

Returning for a curtain call in the 800, Chaney had top seed Leoman Momoh of Cordova on his outside shoulder as duo distanced themselves from the field rounding the final turn. There was contact, with Momoh appearing to cut into Chaney’s line, forcing the Rebel senior to pull up slightly or risk stepping off the track onto the infield.

TSSAA officials ruled no harm, no foul. Regrouping, Chaney chased hard, with Momoh edging him at the line for the title by .02 of a second. The winning mark of 1:51.81 was just over a second off the state record.

Petree is on pace to effect some major damage in the 400 over the next two years. She entered the finals with the third-fastest qualifying time. The Lady Rebel sophomore was expected to do well. Instead, she just blew them away.

“In the home stretch, I was very relaxed,” Petree said, “and I said, ‘Take this thing home.’”

Her winning time of 55.63 was rocket-fast. The state record is only 54.54, and, remember, Petree is just a sophomore.

She would return later in the evening for an encore in the 200-meter dash, finishing fourth. Possessing surprising endurance for so slightly-built a sprinter, Petree almost brought the house down when she anchored the 4x400 relay of Ashley Bridenbaugh, Hillary Wilson and Shaina Czanik to a seventh-place showing.

William Blount senior and Tennessee Tech signee Madison Borden had a go at adding a fourth state crown to Blount County’s coffers. Competing in the discus against a field that included runner-up Jessie Harrison of Houston, a Tennessee signee, and winner Michelle Cumings of Hunters Lane, Borden battled down to the final throw, her toss of 124 feet, 9 inches good enough for a personal-best third place finish at state.

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