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Rebel high jumper highlights trio of track standouts on record pace
Maryville senior Jordan Scott clears the bar in the high jump at the Blount County Track and Field Championships on Monday at William Blount. Photos by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

We’ve got Tim Bell on text alert.

Freshman sprinter Kyle Noe runs the anchor leg of a Heritage relay Monday.

Kyle Noe runs the anchor leg of a Heritage relay Monday.

Wouldn’t be a bad idea for Grady Burns and Meghan Settlemyer to stay ready as well.

The track and field record holders at Maryville, Heritage and William Blount, respectively, could each see their prized marks fall at Friday’s William Blount Invitational – or soon after.

Fifteen schools, including sectional heavyweights Knox Central, Powell and Anderson County, are expected at Mike White Field for the 5 p.m. start. Among a host of athletes to keep an eye on is Maryville high jumper Jordan Scott, Heritage sprinter Kyle Noe and William Blount hurdler Lindsey Roddy.

Bell soared to a height no Blount County athlete had ever gone before – or since — when the former Rebel cleared an unthinkable 7-feet in the high jump his senior season at Maryville in 1997.

The former Tennessee Vol would go on to set a 19-under world record for the event after clearing 7-2 ½ as part of the decathlon a year later.

Scott, a senior, was within striking distance of Bell’s once thought unapproachable 7-foot standard as a freshman, getting over the bar at 6-6. Focusing on the sprints, the Rebel aerialist hit a plateau in the high jump the last two seasons. Storming back in his final campaign, the East Tennessee State University commitment got within three inches of Bell recently, putting 6-9 in his rear view at Maryville home meet.

“I want to break that,” Scott said. “I was in a slump last year. I got a trainer this summer and started working out more.”

Morristown East’s Isaiah Kyle has the top sectional height to date at 7-0.

If Scott doesn’t catch Bell this weekend – it’s still relatively early in the high school track and field season – it wouldn’t take much at all for Noe to run by Burns and claim the title of fastest Mountaineer of all time.

Burns set the mark to beat in the 100 meters at Heritage at 11.1 seconds in the early 1990s. Monday, Noe blistered the field at the Blount County Track and Field Championships to win in a hand-timed 11.3 seconds.

Don’t get it twisted on the hand-timing thing.

Noe keeps it light prior to the start.

Noe keeps it light prior to the start.

Noe ran to fifth at the invitation-only Tennessee Relays recently, cruising in at a crisp 11.2 to set the second fastest sectional time to date this season.

Karns speedster Jamerial Parks has a top time of 11.01.

And here’s the good part.

Noe is a freshman.

“I knew we had something special,” Heritage coach Shane Rewis said. “We time our practices, and we realized, in terms of sectionals, he’s as fast as anybody. He feeds off competition.”

Noe said he tries not to get caught up in it all.

“I’m just trying to go as far as I can,” he said. “I’m hoping to go to state and win it all. I know those are big expectations. My goal is to get in the 10s by sectionals.”

An all-district selection in basketball this past season, Roddy entered her second season of track and field this spring already an accomplished athlete.

She played softball at William Blount her freshman year.

The super-quick shooting guard decided to give track a try for the first time as a sophomore last season. It’s working out pretty good so far.

Roddy circled the track in the 300-meter hurdles Monday to win in a time of 49.47 seconds, posting the second-fastest sectional time so far this season. The mark is within a second of Settlemyer’s William Blount record.

Monday was only the third time Roddy had run the event.

“That’s what (William Blount) coach (Jeremy) Snoderly told me I was doing,” she said. “I said, ‘Well, we’ll see how it goes.’ I didn’t think I was even close. I’d never jumped 16 (feet) in the long jump before (Monday).”

Maryville’s DeAndra Fritz took out the long jump Monday with a leap of 16 feet, 11 inches, with Roddy joining her near the top of the sectional table at 16-4. West’s Drew Long is currently setting the sectional pace at 17-1.

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