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This past Thursday at Riverdale High School, five young men from Franklin County’s track and field team finished high enough to extend their season just a bit longer.
Riverdale, located in Murfreesboro, played host to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Section Two Sub-Sectional Track meet. To continue to the Sectional meet, athletes had to finish in one of the top four spots in their event.
Franklin County competed at a high level, ending the day with 10 top-10 finishes and four top-five finishes.
Moving on to the Sectional meet will be seniors A.J. Blackwell and Donavon Samuels Jr.; juniors Timothy Farris and Matthew Dunphy; and sophomore Joshua Eid.
The team of Blackwell, Samuels, Eid and Farris will advance as a group after finishing in third place in the 4×100-meter relay. With a time of 43.76 seconds, the group was just three hundredths of a second away from second place, claimed by Blackman High School with a time of 43.73.
To further illustrate just how close the event was, Tullahoma High School finished in first place with a time of 43.13, just six tenths of a second faster than Franklin County’s team.
Farris also qualified in the 100-meter dash, placing fourth. Again the competition was extremely close, ending in a photo finish.
With a time of 11.14 seconds, Farris was less than a full second away from first place, but just two hundredths away from not qualifying.
Blackwell also competed well in the event, finishing with a time of 11.45, placing seventh of 25 runners.
Jumping 5 feet, 4 inches vertically, Dunphy elevated his way into the top four finishers in the high jump event.
Junior long distance runner Eric Shull just missed the mark, placing fifth of 25 runners, in the 1,600-meter run. Shull finished with a time of 4 minutes, 47.49 seconds.
Shull came close again in the 800-meter run, placing sixth of 21 runners, with a time of 2 minutes, 5.04 seconds.
Farris and Blackwell each came close to another qualifying finish with respectable times in the 200-meter dash. Out of 19 runners, Blackwell placed sixth with a time of 22.99 seconds. Despite being the fastest of his heat, Farris placed seventh overall with a time of 23.16.
Sophomore Vance Pituch placed 10 th of 24 competitors in the discus competition. Three of the top four finishers in the discus event were seniors.
The five athletes who are advancing will be competing today in the Sectional meet also hosted by Riverdale, beginning at 2 p.m.
Another top four finish would advance them to the state track meet, which will be held on May 22 nd at Middle Tennessee State University.