By Tim Chambers
Abbi Pierce is one Lady Cyclone that wears many hats when it comes to high school athletics. On Thursday — her 16th birthday — she displayed her largest sombrero yet.
The sophomore phenom ran her personal best in the 1,600 meters at the state tournament in Murfreesboro, earning her a third-place finish in addition to gathering all state honors.
Her time of 5:23.84 was a new school record, according to co-head coach Aaron Wood. He said that watching her compete last night was a thing of beauty.
“To come out here and perform the way she did for the first time ever in the state tournament is a huge, huge accomplishment,” said Wood. “She had some jitters, but as soon as the gun went off that all went away. She left it all out there on the track tonight. How much more could you ask for running a personal best and setting a new school record. The all-state and third-place finish just added something extra special to it.” What make it more amazing is that track is only one of the many sports she excels in.
She a standout volleyball and basketball player. She also placed 15th in the state last season in cross country. Pierce said that tonight’s performance was her greatest accomplishment thus far in her athletic career.
“Making all-state and setting the school record feels awesome,” said Pierce. “It makes me want to do better next year.”
In order to do that, the young sophomore will continue to juggle her schedule come fall. She’ll shuffle back and forth between volleyball and cross country before joining the basketball team in October.
“I stay busy with all the sports and my school work,” added Pierce. “I have a volleyball camp this summer and basketball camp. I also be running some trying to get in shape for cross country. I just love playing — competing. I want to be the very best that I can in each sport that I play.”
So far she’s off to a good start.
Pierce was one of the Lady Cyclones’ best volleyball players for coach Leslee Bradley’s squad in addition to being an outstanding runner.
She started the basketball season on the junior varsity, but was playing a lot of key minutes off the bench for coach Mike Wilson by the time they got into their conference schedule in January.
“I love playing all of them — it really just depends on what season it is,” Pierce said. “But tonight is probably the best thing that’s ever happen to me since I’ve been involved in sports.”
Teammate Katie May finished eighth in the 300 hurdles, but was less than a half-second from finishing fifth.