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Roberge-Hsu, McMurry, Hirst, Dutton all state champs
Webb track’s Butler highlights individual state champs in A-AA, Division II

Mary Hirst’s Class AAA high jump state title made news at, of all places, Harvard.

“She was saying that she’d already received some text messages for her new teammates up at Harvard, and they’d already spread the word that their future [teammate] had won the state championship in Tennessee, and they were excited,” Bearden head coach Steve Prince said of his future Ivy Leaguer.

Hirst, a senior multi-sport standout athlete who in previous years has come close to the state crown without ultimate success, leapt 5-foot-6 at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Thursday, May 21, to easily win state.

She joined other AAA state champs Leslie Roberge and Julia Hsu of Farragut in girls tennis doubles, Lady Bulldogs singles state champ Kayla McMurry and Hardin Valley Academy hurdles champ Edward Dutton.

Meanwhile, Webb School track standout Majorie Butler, only a freshman, was a double sprinting champ in Division II. (More on Butler and several other Division I A-AA and Division II state champs and top finishers in track and field and tennis later in this story).

To win the state singles title, the first state crown of any kind in girls tennis program history, McMurry had to defeat an opponent who had never lost a high school singles or double event — and had beaten McMurry last season. But the BHS junior won against 2008 champ Allison Hodges of Houston, 7-5, 6-2, then dumped freshman Alison Storie of Science Hill 6-0, 6-3 in the finals Friday, May 22.

“That’s quite special, she played great … she’s a battler, ran everything down,” Bearden head coach Clint Cope said. “She had the toughest draw.”

In winning state with a 19-1 overall record, McMurry went 9-0 in post season “and did not drop a set,” Cope said.

Roberge-Hsu edged Courtney Conley-Megan Bookmaster of Tennessee High 7-6, 7-6 in the semis, then beat Kayla Jones-Kasey Spilman of White Station 6-4, 6-4 in the finals Friday.

“We thought they had a chance … we were cautiously optimistic,” FHS head coach Josh Nelson said. “They did really well staying focused.

“Julia is really amazing at the net, and definitely a great player,” Nelson added about his No. 1 singles player the past three years. “Leslie’s got some good strokes and some big serves. They really played off each other well … really calm and collected throughout every match, and that was one of the big differences.”

About Hirst’s training, Prince said, “The way [coach Barry] Faust, ‘Blues Man’ trained her, he worked her really hard.”

With Hirst being accepted into the Ivy League’s most famous college, Harvard, “She is definitely one of the most humbled, non-self-centered people you’ll ever meet.” Prince said. “A model student.”

Dutton, an HVA junior, was 300-meter hurdles champ (39.14). Lady Hawk Emily Yarnell was third in both the 300- and 100-dashes.


Butler was champ in 100 and 300 dashes (14.67, 43.94 respectively), and was second in 200.

Webb’s 4 X 100 relay girls also won state (49.28), helping the Lady Spartans’ team take fourth.

Knoxville Catholic’s third-place girls finish in A-AA was led by Renee Maggert’s state crown in pole vault (10-00.00) and Megan Ferowich’s title in 1600 (5.19.50). Ferowich was second in 800. It’s 4 X 800 relay team was second.

Christian Academy of Knoxville was fifth in A-AA with Callie Heitzman winning state in 100-hurdles (15.24) and second in 300-hurdles. Mary Thompson was state champ in 800 (2:17.25). Hannah Cox was second in long jump.

In boys’ A-AA, Irish discus thrower Daniel Hood took second, as did CAK’s Justin Emerson in 100 and the Warriors’ 4 X 400 relay team. Emerson was third in 200. CAK’s boys were fifth.

While four Westside private school teams each finished as state runners-up in tennis — both Webb teams in Division II-AA along with CAK’s girls and Catholic’s boys in Class A-AA — two state champs still emerged.

Spartan Brandon Fickey beat McCallie’s Chris Schlabach 6-1, 7-6 to win Division II-AA boys singles state. Irish boys doubles tandem of Nick Widmer and Steven Young claimed the A-AA boys doubles title by clipping Hunt Magee-Allisson Mansur of USJ 7-6, 6-2.


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