Tickets are being punched and hotel reservations made.
Maryville tennis players Payton Robinette and Yusuke Yodono became the latest Blount County athletes to qualify for next week’s BlueCross Spring Fling state championships in Murfreesboro.
Robinette, a Lady Rebel freshman, prevailed, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, over William Blount’s Madison Costner in a hard-fought, Region 2 championship tilt on Tuesday at Cedar Bluff Racquet Club. The match was do-over from last week’s district title meeting, won by Costner, 7-6 (10-8), 6-0.
Yodono was also pushed to three sets on Tuesday and also pitted against his District 4AAA championship match opponent. As he’d done the week before, the Rebel sophomore again had the answers for Catholic’s Ben Matson, Yodono advancing to the state singles tournament with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win.
Yodono, who stopped Matson, 6-2, 6-1, in last week’s district championship match, is on his way back to state for the second consecutive season, having reached the state doubles championship match last season with former Rebel Ryota Yoshida.
Maryville senior and recent Tennessee signee Julia Petree claimed Blount County’s lone title at last week’s Class AAA Section 1 track and field meet at Hardin Valley. The Blount Today Female Athlete of the Year took out the win in her favored 400 meters, an event she won at state two years ago, finishing second last spring.
The future Lady Vol also met state meet qualifying standards in the 100 (second) and 200 (second). Three Lady Rebel relays - 4x100 (second), 4x200 (fourth), 4x400 (fourth) - are also through to state.
William Blount sophomore Brooke Butterworth finished third in the high jump to earn a state berth. Governor junior Micah Williamson raced to fourth in the 110-meter hurdles to qualify. Maryville’s Mathew Warriner is on his way to Murfreesboro with a second place showing at 800 meters.
On Tuesday, Alcoa’s Tornadoes saw a pair of relay teams qualify for next week’s Class A-AA meet at Middle Tennessee State University. The 4x200 quartet of Brenden Rudd, Vanderbilt Hambrick, LaJaun Warfield and JaRod Crenshaw ran to a second place showing at Tuesday’s A-AA sectional at Christian Academy of Knoxville.
Rudd, Crenshaw and Warfield added Mustafa Anthony for a second-place, qualifying run at the 4x400 distance. Additional Tornadoes may be added to the A-AA state field once sectional qualifying concludes this week.
The Maryville and William Blount softball teams and Maryville baseball team are scheduled for sectional round contests on Friday and Saturday, respectively.