By: Jim Steele
MURFREESBORO - When you consider the talent coming out of the West Tennessee sectional, one might have thought that the chances for McKenzie senior Hunter Herrin appearing at the Class A-AA state high jump competition would be remote.
But Herrin emerged from that formidable pack to finish seveneth in the state at Murfreesboro Friday morning.
The Class A-AA state track meet took place at the track and soccer complex on the campus oF Middle Tennessee University. Herrin cleared 6-0 and had three shots at 6-2, but never cleared it.
Christian Academy of Knoxville's Marcus Walker won the event with a leap of 6-6. When it was apparent Walker had the top prize sewn up, he added a bit of drama when he twice attempted 6-9. When he failed to clear it the second time, he ended his quest. The state record belongs to Eric Draper of White Station. He had a leap of 7-2 in 1996.
Thanks to Herrin's effort, McKenzie finished in a four-way tie for 38th place in the team standings with two points. McKenzie tied Chattanoga Central, Kingston and Memphis Academy of health.
Martin Luther King High School of Nashville was the overall team state champion with 103 total points.
Seven of the eight high jumpers came from Class 2A schools. Herrin was the only jumper from a Class A school. One could argue that Herrin is the Class A state champ. One could sense a bit of disappointment in his demeanor.
"I had better," said Herrin of his performance at state. "But I was glad I got to come, so it didn't really matter. I was here."
Herrin, whose personal best is 6-2, was pleased he was able to emerge from the sectional meet, which some contend may have been one of the toughest in the state.
"I was pretty proud of that, but it took smoe hard work," Herrin said. "I had to stick it out and I got a little lucky at the end."
Following Walker, Blake Edwards of M.L. King was second with a jump of 6-4. Jeremy Hurdle of Ripley was third, Georgio Darius Lynwood of Jackson Central-Merry was fourth, Cordaro Golden of Sheffield was fifth, Enrick Buchanan of Maplewood was sixth, Herrin seventh and Josh Ferriera of Hixson was eighth.