FRANKLIN — Summit High sophomore Abby Miller and Franklin High senior AJ Russell were both selected as Athletes of the Week by Gateway Tire for the week ending March 20.
The pair were chosen as part of the Athlete of the Week awards sponsored by Garth Bouldin of Gateway Tire & Service Center in Franklin. Each week, one male athlete and one female athlete from Williamson County are selected and featured in the Williamson Herald throughout the school year.
Miller kicked off his track season with two stellar finishes at Siegel High School’s season opener in Murfreesboro last week. She won the 300-meter hurdles event with a victory in 48.47 seconds – more than five seconds faster than second place and good enough for one of the best times in the state so far this season in the event.
“Abby has dedicated a lot of time this offseason to hone her craft, improving in every aspect,” Summit track and field coach Johanna Bourdon said. “While she may have found her footing in the 300 hurdles, we’re looking forward to some big moments this season in a few other events, including the 400 and 800.”
Miller also clocked a personal best in the 200m with a time of 28.17 for another first-place finish at the Rutherford County meet. She closed her indoor season earlier this month with a 59.03 400 – another personal best.
On the baseball field, Russell helped lead the Admirals to a 3-1 opening week in Florida. The senior pitcher threw a two-hit shutout with 18 strikeouts and no walks in a 7-0 win over Jackson South Side.
“We think we should win the game every time AJ hits the rubber,” Franklin coach Wally Whidby said. “He’s just an absolute bulldog when you put the ball in his hands.”
Whidby said Russell unbalanced the 22 hitters he faced with his “electric fastball” to go along with the mix in his slider and changeover. Russell was in a duel against Jackson South Side’s Tyler Smith.
“The match was intense and both teams fed off their aces on the mound. AJ wouldn’t be upstaged,” Whidby said. “He competed fiercely and blew the guys away. … It was an incredible display of dominance to watch.
The senior ace went without a hit for six innings Monday as well before being called out for the pitch count.