CLARKSVILLE — It was an evening to honor those lost and to celebrate the competitive spirit at the Daniel Faulkner Relays, which were held on Darrell Kingery Track and Field at the campus of Clarksville High School on Thursday night.
The track was named after Kingery, a former Clarksville and Silver Creek coach, in a ceremony that took place prior to the relay events. That – combined with a meet named for Faulkner – made for an event with meaning that extended far beyond the results.
Dr. Brian Allred, part of the Clarksville school system since 1999 and former assistant principal and principal at Clarksville High School, spoke during the ceremony.
“I would say it is a perfect example of what happens when you think about the importance of community and the impact that individuals have,” said Allred, now the principal at Renaissance Academy. “When you think about what people do for their community and the greater good, that’s what this is all about. A culmination of what that means – that’s the bigger message.”
It was fitting that there was a teamwork aspect to the relays — teammates in each event worked together to achieve a common goal.
Silver Creek was able to honor coach Kingery in its own way as the boys’ 4x800 relay team of Ashton Still, Kyle Cooper, Preston Coots and AJ Smith cruised to the win in 8:44.86.
“All for Kingery,” they said, speaking of the coach who had helped train and lead them.
The New Albany and Silver Creek girls’ 4x800 relay teams had a duel in the opening running event of the meet.
New Albany led early only to have Silver Creek take over the lead in the third leg. On the fourth leg, New Albany senior Laney Thompson made her move on the back stretch of the final lap.
“After I made my move I knew I had it on the final straightaway,” said Thompson. The New Albany team of Olivia Hawkins, Laura Andrews, Hannah Lynch and Thompson finished in a meet record time of 10:04.74. Silver Creek was runner-up in 10:07.78.
The Providence boys got a big effort from junior Austin Grantz, his shot put toss of 46- ½ and his discus throw of 132-3, both event bests, led the Pioneers to relay wins in the shot put and discus.
“It was really exciting, a good win,” said Grantz. “It’s fun being with my guys.”
Providence also showed up in some key relay races.
The 4x200 relay team of Gabe Tucker, Ethan Fulkerson, Brandon Barron and Chris Heselschwerdt won in 1:33.88; Clarksville (1:39.87) and Silver Creek (1:40.08) were second and third.
The New Albany girls’ long jump relay of Shalandria White and Mariah Grant excelled with a meet record combined distance of 33-2 ½.
Grant came back to be a part of the winning 1,600 relay team, along with Marley Tate, Riley Winslow and Jasmine Frederick.
It was the Providence girls that came away with the win in the sprint medley, the team of Sydney Barron, Reese Bottorf, Julia Christie and Avery Stumler notching a time of 1:54.65. New Albany was runner-up at 1:56.11 and Silver Creek third (2:01).
Rock Creek Academy boasted some strong performances as well. Ligia Williams broke the school record in the 100 with a time of 12.02 and Naimah Slaughter broke her own school record in high jump in 5-6.
Luis Corrales tied the school record in the boys' 100-meter dash at 5-6.
Providence won the boys’ team title with 122, Silver Creek was second at 92. The girls’ team title was won by New Albany at 103, Silver Creek was runner-up at 82.
Daniel Faulkner was a 1999 graduate of Clarksville and was coached by Kingery as he was named MVP of the 1998 boys’ cross country team and 1999 boys’ track team.
He served his country as a Sergeant in the 1st Cavalry Division, 20th Engineer Brigade that was deployed to Iraq. In 2004, Faulkner was killed in action. His awards include the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, among many others.