Despite a better total score than she won with last year, Baylor's Selena Popp was unable to repeat her Division II pentathlon state championship, finishing third overall Monday at Middle Tennessee State University.
The junior scored 266 more points (3,366) than her 2013 total but finished behind Ensworth's Tyra Gitten (3,563) and Brentwood Academy's Megan Meadow (3,419). Popp, who will compete in four individual state meet events later this week in Murfreesboro, won the 800-meter portion of the pentathlon, finished second in the high jump and was third in the 100-meter hurdles.
"I'm as proud of her as I was last year when she won it all, just for the way she competed today," Baylor coach Bill McMahan said. "It's such a grueling event and they were out there for about six hours, so to score so many more points than she did last year tells you how well she did.
"She just ran into a couple of other athletes who had better days, and that happens. But it's a great way for her to start the week and for us as a team to pick up valuable points for [Thursday's] meet."
Cleveland's Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad finished fourth overall in the Class AAA pentathlon, taking third in both the high jump and long jump.
Tyner's Vivian Smith was fifth in the A/AA pentathlon, followed by Signal Mountain's Aryn Sanders in sixth and Chattanooga Christian's Shelby Bach in eighth. Smith won the long jump event and Sanders was second in the 800-meter run.
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having 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, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...