Union City Track and Field Posts Spring Fling Top-10 Finishes for Boys and Girls

 Union City Track and Field Posts Spring Fling Top-10 Finishes for Boys and Girls

Union City track and field posted Top-10 finishes in both boys and girls competition at the TSSAA Spring Fling on Tuesday…(photos: Mike Hutchens – School Communications Director)

Union City is officially an “up-and-comer” in boys’ and girls’ track.

Capping a top-quality season that saw them claim multiple rural West Tennessee meet titles, both the Tornadoes and Lady Tornadoes finished in the Top 10 in the Class 1A State Championships Tuesday at Dean Hayes Stadium.

School Communications Director Mike Hutchens said the boys placed sixth, out of 43 teams to score points, while the Twister girls were ninth in a field of 37 entries.

With Top-3 individual finishes, four Tornado performers automatically earned All-State spots to highlight Union City’s stellar performance on the biggest stage.

Kameron Shade was runner-up in the 100 meters, while Keaten Brown finished second place in the discus. On the girls’ side, Katana Bonds was third in the long jump, and Debrionna Jones was third in the discus.

Perhaps the best part: All are underclassmen.

“We’re definitely trending in the right direction,” a pleased UC head coach Wade Maddox said at the conclusion of Tuesday’s all-day event. “Our kids are learning how to compete, and they came here today wanting to compete.

“To have both programs finish in the Top 10 is a tremendous achievement. It’s not something we’re going to be satisfied with, though. We want to become a perennial Top 5 program on both sides and give ourselves a legitimate shot at competing for a championship.”

Shade, Brown, Bonds, and Robinson all posted noteworthy finishes in multiple events.

A junior, the speedy Shade narrowly missed winning the 100 with a time of 10.90, just behind the winning mark of 10.84. He also was fourth in the 200 meters, running a 22.75.

Brown was runner-up in the discus with a toss of 140-6. Perhaps just as impressive was his fourth-place finish in the shot put (43.85), given the fact he’d never thrown before until March, when he had to be coaxed to try the event.

“Give Coach (Josh) Keown credit for that one and for all our throwers,” Maddox said. “He’s done a tremendous job, and we’ve had unbelievable growth with those people this season.”

Bonds, who was fifth as a freshman in the triple jump last year, was fourth in completing her sophomore campaign Tuesday. Notably, the Top 6 finishers in the triple jump would have won the competition in the 2A field.

Bonds was third in the long jump with a leap of 17-1.

Jones, another sophomore in her first full season after recovering from knee surgery last year, was third in the discus 109-10 and fourth in the shot put 32-1.

Union City also got quality efforts from the 4×400 boys’ relay team that finished fifth behind Shade, Andre Small, Adrian Crawford, and Malaki Brooks.

Kolby Craig, the lone senior of 10 Tornado state qualifiers, was seventh in the long jump (20-075). Ada Rogers set a personal best time at 51.42 in the 300-meter hurdles to place eighth, while sophomore Kelan Roberson came in eighth in the shot put with a best throw of 35-575.

“Our depth has been key for us all year, and that was on display today,” Maddox added. “Obviously, we’re excited about all four of the folks we had to make all-state with Top 3 finishes coming back next year. They know what it’s about to compete here, and the chance to improve and finish even better should be a great motivator for them.

“I want our programs to start in the middle school and for us to build from the ground up. We’re going to start working very closely with them so that it is truly a program from when they are introduced to the sport until they graduate.”

Alcoa was the champion of the girls’ field, while Pearl-Cohn took first place in the boys’ competition.

Charles Choate