Tory Kemp competes in the shot put portion of the pentathalon event at Spring Fling in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Monday. Kemp won the state championship for her division in the event, having competed in the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m race.Photo by Jake Daniels.
Tory Kemp became the first local state champion at this year's Spring Fling on Monday, and she could add titles later this week.
The Girls Preparatory School senior won the Division II pentathlon at Middle Tennessee State University, compiling 3,207 total points for a commanding 268-point win over second-place Selena Popp of Baylor.
Kemp, who had not competed in the pentathlon since her freshman season, will be a favorite in the long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles when the girls' state meet resumes Thursday.
"It got pretty hot in the middle of the day and I'm pretty tired, but I kept pushing myself off adrenaline," said Kemp, who has signed a track scholarship with North Carolina. "It definitely boosts my confidence for what I have to do later this week. And hopefully this will help build momentum for us as a team.
"It's a good win for myself, but moreso for my team, it's a great way to start this week."
The Spring Fling gets fully under way today with tennis beginning at 10 a.m. EDT, while baseball, soccer and softball teams begin playing this evening at 6.
Kemp finished in the top three in four of the five events, winning the 100 hurdles and long jump, finishing second in the shot put and winding up third in the high jump.
"It was good to see Tory back running strong, completely healthy and looking really good and strong," GPS coach Stacy Hill said. "We're excited for her. Having Tory jump out and do what she did and the energy she brought, she will spark everybody. She could easily win five events."
Cleveland's Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad placed second in Class AAA, finishing 381 points behind first-place Jennifer Cannon of Tennessee High. Abdullah-Muhammad won the long jump and finished among the top five in every event.
Howard's Deronesha Smartt finished sixth in Class A/AA, placing first in the long jump and second in the shot put.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, starting at the News-Free Press as a 19-year-old reporter. He has been with the Times Free Press since its inception and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation ...