Vicksburg hurdles field to win relays|[4/10/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 11, 2005

Vicksburg defended its home track by sweeping the boys and girls team titles at Saturday’s BancorpSouth Relays.

Coach Deborah L. Brown’s Missy Gators remained unbeaten on the season by romping past a five-team field. The VHS boys, meanwhile, overcame a disqualification in the 4-by-200 relay to edge archrival Warren Central by 10 points (119-109).

Brown praised her team’s dominating performance, which saw the Missy Gators total 159 points to win their fifth straight meet. Hattiesburg was second with 101.

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“Our girls were impressive. Right now, we’re better than good. We’re strong,” Brown said. “Our times in all three relays were really improved over what we had done in other meets.”

Rachel Jenkins was named the MVP of the girls meet after winning the triple jump long jump and high jump.

“This wasn’t my best meet but I guess I did well,” Jenkins said. “I definitely think our running was better today.”

Jenkins may be right. Teammate Stephanie Wright won both of her hurdle events, taking the 110-meters (16:05 seconds) and the 300-meters (45.72). She also led off two winning relays in the 4-by-100 (49:59) and the 4-by-200 (1:41.43).

“I got four gold medals,” Wright said of the hardware dangling from her neck.

The Missy Gators held just an 11-point lead after seven events but began pulling away after Tiffany Williams won the 1,600-meter run and the 4-by-200 relay team won its event.

Greenville finished third in the girls standings with 40 points, while Warren Central was fourth with 28. St. Aloysius, a 1A school, had a tough day but managed to get two points in the day’s last event, the 4-by-400 relay.

The other top performer for VHS was sprinter Courtney Prentiss, who won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Kendra Sims was second in both events.

The only events VHS did not take a first in were the 400 dash, the 800 run, the 3,200 run, the shot put and discus.

Warren Central’s best finishers was its 4-by-100 relay which earned second, and a third place showing from Shawnise Smith in the 800 run.

In the boys meet, the Gators found themselves trailing Warren Central 78-61 after 10 events.

But the Gators began their comeback in the 1,600 run behind Boys MVP James Wood. Wood won the 1,600 in 5:01.13, and Jeff Grimshel was second to give the Gators 12 much needed points and close the gap to 80-75.

VHS grabbed the lead after Stanley Williams won the 300 hurdles and teammate Marcus Williams earned third.

Wood then got second in the 800 run to give the Gators a 110-99 lead going into the 200 dash.

Warren Central’s Marquel Sims won the 200 to pull the Vikings back to within four at 111-107, but the only thing stopping the Gators from losing the team title would be a disqualification in the mile relay.

It didn’t happen as Wood led the 4-by-400 team to another win.

“This was by far my best meet of the season,” said Wood who also won the 3,200 run.

“We had a great week of practice and now we’ve just got to modify some things to get ready for our district meet,” said VHS coach Toriano Wells. “The DQ in the 4-by-2 hurt us some. Our second leg left too soon. We need to be more patient. But James’ run in the 800 helped get the edge back for us.”

The Vikings did get another good day from sprinter Fred Payne, who took the 100 meters in a season best time of 10.87 seconds. He also won the triple jump (43-feet, 3-inches) and anchored the 4-by-100 (42.92) and 4-by-200 relay (1:29.90) teams to wins.

“I thought off if we our 4-by-2 team got run under 1:30, it would be a good day,” WC coach Larry Tyrone said.