Vicksburg sweeps Region 2-5A meet|[4/23/06]

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 24, 2006

Michael Cooper is known on the soccer fields as being a fast player. On Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, Cooper showed his stuff on the track, helping Vicksburg to the Region 2-5A Track and Field title.

The Vicksburg Missy Gators made it a clean sweep of the team titles by romping past the field for the girls crown, beating second-place and division rival Madison Central by 58 points (173-115).

Cooper, the Vicksburg Post’s 2006 Boys Soccer Player of the Year, ran a dominating anchor leg in the day’s final event, the boys 1,600 meter relay to lock up the boys team trophy with 124 points to Greenville’s 104.5.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The Gators entered the last event up 7.5 points on the hard charging Hornets. They just needed a clean run in the final relay to clinch, but Cooper turned it into the Gators’ third relay win of the meet.

&#8220I haven’t run this much since we played at state,” Cooper said in reference to last year’s Class 5A soccer title game with Clinton at Millsaps. &#8220This was fun. Winning the 4×200 was the best because everybody was counting on me.”

&#8220Michael Cooper was definitely a surprise today,” added VHS coach Toriano Wells. &#8220Here’s a soccer guy who came out to run track this spring and we’re glad he did.”

The Gators trailed Madison Central 58-56 going into the 4×200. Greenville and Clinton were right behind, tied in third with 48.5.

Cooper ran a strong middle leg and that helped the Gators grab the relay win and retake the lead in the standings.

Madison Central’s Daniel Simpkins then won the 1,600 run, his second of three wins on the day, to put the Jaguars in the lead and drop Vicksburg to third.

Again the Gators rallied by winning the 4×100 relay in 43.14 behind Cordell Watkins and sophomore Marlon Maxey.

For Maxey, winning the relay helped ease the disappointment of not qualifying for next week’s North State meet in the 100 meters.

&#8220I almost pulled my hamstring right after the start. It came down to me either pulling it or coming in fifth. I decided to take it for the team and finish fifth,” Maxey said.

Only the top four advance to next week. But by not knocking himself out with an injury, Maxey was able to help his team win the 4×100 relay and then finished second in the 200 meters.

Cooper got a second place finish in the 800 run, one of four straight seconds that gave Vicksburg a 96-88.5 lead over Greenville.

Warren Central finished seventh in the team standings with just 21 points. Geroid Chambliss placed second in the 110 hurdles and Spencer Wilkerson was second in the pole vault.

Courtney Prentiss swept both the 100 and 200 meters as the Missy Gators won nine events in all and qualified at least one competitor in 16 of 17 events. The lone scratch came in the pole vault.

&#8220We qualified in all 16 of our events,” VHS girls coach Deborah Brown said. &#8220It’s all about the girls, but right now we’ve only got two who are leaving it all on the track. We need more of our people to mimic those two, because we’re going north.”

Rachel Jenkins tripled, winning the long jump (16-3), triple jump (34-9) and the high jump (5-4). The Missy Gators also got wins from Keshia Collins in the 400 meters (1:02.47), and Stephanie Wright in the 300 hurdles (47.09).

The WC Lady Vikes finished last with seven points. The lone qualifier was Samantha Butler, who was third in the long jump.