By Ron Barry
Bartlett – Julie Nass is Crockett County’s track coach. Please excuse her if she feels more like a history teacher this week.
That’s because her Cavalier tracksters are both making history and recalling some personal history for their encouraging leader, following a stellar performance at the West Sectionals held in this Memphis suburb over the weekend.
Nass started the CCHS track program in 2014. By the following year, the school was already sending its first set of runners to the TSSAA State Championships. In fact, Crockett has had State meet representatives in six of the eight seasons in which a team has been fielded – 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, and now 2022. There was no 2020 season due to COVID-19.
But with all that success, the most runners the Cavs have ever sent to a single State championship was five – until now. For on Tuesday, May 24 in Murfreesboro, eight Crockett speedsters will be in competition, marking the first time the Cavs have had both a boys and a girls relay team qualify in the same year.
And the race the teams qualified for – the 4×800 meter relay – makes it extra special for Nass.
“The 4×800 is my favorite event in track because it takes a good strategy and putting four runners together who have both speed and endurance to make a competitive relay team,” she said. “It also was the event I qualified for State in four times as a runner back in the 1990s. So to qualify both girls and boys teams was very special for me.”
Both relay teams set huge personal records in their qualifying runs, with both finishing second at the West Sectionals.
The girls lineup is Alyssa Roy, Kristin Lewis, Joy Evans, and Emma Maddox. The boys relay squad is Daniel Jordan, Stephen Scallion, Noah Davis, and Eylan Morris. Maddox, Jordan, and Morris were running the day after their graduation ceremony in Alamo Friday night. Morris even gave an address as senior class president.
Jordan, Davis, and Scallion are also doing double post-season duty as members of Crockett’s soccer team, which began regional tournament play last night in Lexington after The Crockett County Times had gone to press.
But that’s not all. Scallion will also be competing in Murfreesboro in the individual 3200-meter run after destroying his own previous personal best time in that event by 18 seconds in his Bartlett run. Scallion clocked a 10:41 for the nearly two-mile event. He finished third in the race, but his time earned him an at-large position in Murfreesboro as the second-fastest time across the state among those who did not finish in the top two in their sectional.
“It has been so much fun to coach these kids this year,” Nass said. “State was always the goal and they have worked so hard to earn this honor. They all knew they were going to have to run their fastest 800 and hit a team PR (personal record) to have a chance to qualify, and every one of them did just that. It was an epic and exciting weekend for sure.”
Crockett will begin competition in Murfreesboro at 4 p.m. next Tuesday at the Dean Hayes Track on the MTSU campus.