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Pickle sweeps; Oatts, 4 X 400 state champs as BHS takes 3rd

MURFREESBOR0 — Senior Eric Pickle completed in 2006 what he almost accomplished in 2005: a Class AAA state championship sweep of the discus and shot put in helping his Bearden Bulldogs track and field boys finish third Friday, May 26, at Middle Tennessee State University.

Finishing behind state champion Hamilton (71 points) and barely edged for second by Kenwood (56), most of Bearden’s 55 points were largely due to Pickle (20) and standout senior sprinters Jay Oatts and Nathan Grace.

Combined with its state championship 4 X 400 that broke a 30-year school record (3:16.68) thanks to a strong finishing kick from anchor Grace, BHS received an additional 10 points thanks to Oatts winning the 300 hurdles (:38.20).

All this success, combined with four consecutive KIL and Section 1-AAA crowns plus a state runner-up finish in 2003, led BHS boys head coach Steve Prince to declare that his 2006 seniors “are the best group of seniors in the forty-year history of Bearden track.”

Other BHS points came from Grace’s third-place finish in the 400-meter run (:49.19). Oatts’ took fourth in the 100-hurdles (:14.87), and Grace placed fifth in the 200 (:22.29).

Pickle, defending state champ in the discus and runner-up in the shot put, won discus at 169-feet and shot put at 57-10.

Joining Grace on the champion 4 X 400 realy were Oatts, C.J. Gunn and Sean Cunningham.


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