The JCHS track team traveled to Johnson City last week to compete alongside some of the best and toughest teams in the entire region at the first annual Tri-Cities Classic at Science Hill. Taking on challenges well above their own classification, the Longhorns were still able to walk away with a respectable showing including one top 10 finish and several top 20 finishes.
It was a big accomplishment for a smaller school like Johnson County to be able to stay in the race against regional powerhouses like Dobbyns Bennett and Watauga County, but the Longhorns determined tenacity impressed the fans and coaching staff alike.
I was very proud of our kids, said head Coach Penny Gentry. They held their own and they didnt give up when they saw the competition. They faced it and they finished the races. I was very proud of them.
Beginning Saturday morning, several members of the Johnson County team competed in preliminary events just to get the opportunity to move on. Taking part in 11 events overall, senior Jacob Henson was the only one from Johnson County to participate in a field event, earning a respectable 18ft 4inch final in the long jump.
Henson also competed in the 100-meter dash where he came in with a respectable 12.12 second showing alongside teammate Andy Rosado at 12.63. Yet, when it came to the short distance runs J.R. Speed truly earned his name, flying past runners from Watauga, Daniel Boone and Elizabethton to bring in a solid seventh place finish at 11.84. One of the biggest surprises of the day, Coach Gentry pointed out that the sophomore is relatively new to the field.
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