Central girls run toward state crown

Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Shelbyville Central will have a team running in the 4x200 meter relays tonight at 6:05 at MTSU. Team members are, from right, Sharmayne Claybrooks, Bionca Chery, Caprice Smythe and Calisha Johnson. (T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)

Shelbyville Central will be represented in the TSSAA Spring Fling tonight in the girls 4x200 meter relay at MTSU.

The Eaglettes hit the track at 6:05 p.m.

The team consists of senior Bionca Chery, junior Calisha Johnson, sophomores Sharmayne Claybrooks and Caprice Smythe and freshman Simone Harris.

Coach Ramon Lanier will decide which four will run in the state after they warm up.

"All five of these girls are more than deserving to run in this race but only four can," Lanier said. "We'll get there, warm up and if I get a feeling that one is not ready or I can see it in their eyes, that will help make my decision.

This is the third straight year the Eaglette 200 meter relay squad has advanced to the state tournament.

It all started two years ago when the squad of Hannah Martin, Jesse Doak, Casey Bearden and Johnson advanced to state.

"It's really remarkable for this to be our third straight trip to the state in the girls 200 relay," Lanier said. "We had a bunch of girls come through the program and that group a couple of years ago really set the example for others to follow.

"We've been fortunate that other girls come to the forefront and help replace seniors."

This squad had dominated throughout the regular season and district tournament, but an unforeseen circumstance occurred at the region that prevented a number of possible state contenders from Shelbyville to compete in the region tournament.

The girls 200 meter relay team did get to run in the region at the end of the tournament, but not head-to-head against other teams.

They did have a good enough time to advance to the state sectional last Tuesday where they qualified to compete in the state.

"I really believe this team has not ran their best time yet," Lanier said. "If we can cut our qualifying time down by two seconds I think we have a great chance to advance to the finals. We need to have a great start and have no miscues in our handoffs."