Furman University junior Luke Meade was masterful in winning the men’s 5,000-meter race on Friday at the 52nd annual Tennessee Relays track and field meet in Knoxville.
The former Sullivan East High School star clocked in at 14:20.55 in cruising to the victory.
“Truthfully, I believe that was Luke’s very best performance he has had at Furman,” said Robert Gary, the head coach of the Paladins. “We have had a hard time designing a training program to keep him healthy. This is also as committed and excited Luke has been about his running.”
Meade blitzed the field as Duke’s Josh Romine was a distant second place with a time of 14:39.36.
“Two things that really stood out were Luke’s concentration and the team’s excitement for him,” Gary said. “Luke essentially ran the last 2,000 meters completely from the front and alone. It was a fairly windy night and he showed great concentration in really cutting the pace down. At the same time, our entire team had congregated by the water jump and their excitement and cheering built as Luke’s lead increased. It was a cool atmosphere … they really seemed to energize him as he came around each lap.”
Tennessee’s Karl Thiessen (Abingdon) was fourth in the race in 14:42.69, while East Tennessee State’s Noah Charles (Science Hill) finished in ninth-place with a time of 15:02.57.
The day belonged to Meade, however.
“I hope this breakthrough performance and the remainder of this season really sets him up for a wonderful senior season,” Gary said.
Latest on Lindsey
Western Carolina’s Lindsey Trotter had a productive weekend at the Catamount Classic women’s track and field meet in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
The ex-Virginia High standout finished as runner-up in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:59.72, while clocking in at 2:30.15 to place 10th in the 800-meter run.
Top-10 for Morton
Wofford College’s Kassidy Morton crossed the finish line in 1:04.91 on Saturday in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Gamecock Invitational track and field meet in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Tennessee High graduate wound up with a ninth-place finish in the event.
Top-10 for Rose
Alice Lloyd College freshman Allie Rose (Virginia High) recorded a ninth-place finish in the women’s discus this past weekend at a track and field meet hosted by the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.
Rose had a top throw of 33.79 meters.
Milam saves the day
Senior Day was a memorable day for Milligan College senior Josie Milam.
The former Sullivan Central High School softball star pitched a scoreless seventh inning to notch the save in Saturday’s 2-1 Appalachian Athletic Conference victory over Brenau.
The word on Williams
Sophomore pitcher Tara Williams (Rural Retreat) is 3-2 with a 3.84 ERA in eight appearances for the Concord University softball squad.
Sparks hits and pitches
Laken Sparks has contributed to Bluefield College’s softball team both in the pitching circle and at the plate.
The Tazewell High School graduate is hitting .280 with six home runs and 21 RBIs, while going 6-9 with a 6.51 ERA as a pitcher.
Cheyenne Strickland (Carroll County) has been the definition of a two-sport standout at Ferrum College.
After being one of the top players for the school’s volleyball team in the fall, the senior has compiled a .342 batting average with one home run and 16 RBIs for the softball squad.
Most impressively, she’s struck out just four times in 117 at-bats.
Parker’s first hit
Milligan freshman Parker Mumpower (Sullivan Central) recorded the first hit of his collegiate baseball career on April 10 in the second game of a doubleheader against Shawnee State.
Mumpower smacked a sixth-inning single off Blake Marshall.
Will Harless had two hits on Saturday for Radford in a Big South Conference baseball loss to Campbell.
The former Abingdon High School slugger is hitting .275 with two home runs and nine RBIs this season.
Griffith goes deep
Alex Griffith (Virginia High) homered on Saturday for the Francis Marion University Patriots in their 4-2 setback to Columbus State in the second game of a Peach Belt Conference baseball twinbill.
A senior, Griffith is hitting .278 with six home runs and 30 RBIs.
Luke Nussman went 4-for-5 with a double, home run, two RBIs and three runs scored on Saturday as Shenandoah took an 8-6 triumph over Ferrum in the second game of an Old Dominion Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader.
The former Sullivan Central High School standout is batting .353 with one home run and 19 RBIs.
Bubba Hubbard (Union) has pitched to the tune of a 5-0 record and 2.25 ERA in nine games (seven starts) for the Walters State Community College baseball team.
Blalock earns victory
The Radford University women’s tennis team closed out the regular season with a 5-1 victory over North Carolina Central on Saturday with Tyler Blalock (Abingdon) contributing to the win.
Blalock posted a 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) triumph over Sofia Miller in No. 4 singles.
Taylor hits the links
Tennessee Tech freshman Chance Taylor (Gate City) closed out the Big Blue Intercollegiate men’s golf tournament on April 9 with a fine final round.
Taylor recorded scores of 75, 76 and 69 in finishing tied for 37th on the individual leaderboard at the tournament hosted by The Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, Tennessee.