Natchez takes Gator Relays|Prep track and field

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 29, 2009

Both the Vicksburg and Warren Central boys track and field teams showed different strengths and weaknesses in Saturday’s annual Gator Relays at Memorial Stadium.

The Vikings had the lead in the team standings through 13 events but didn’t have enough force on the track to hold off the Natchez Bulldogs. The Gators, meanwhile, had some standout performances from Carlos Williams in the shot put and in the relays but not enough of them and finished fifth out of seven teams in its home meet.

“It was what I expected. We did a wonderful job in the shot, the 4×100 and 4×200 relays, the 100 hurdles and the 200 dash, but everything else we got hurt in,” Vicksburg track coach Gary Lewis said. “We have to find some distance runners. We also may need to make some changes in our field events.”

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

Warren Central coach Larry Tyrone loved how his team did in the field but fell short in the sprints and relays as Natchez overcame a 102.5-94 deficit in the final four events to take the team title 141 to WC’s 119.5. Raymond was third at 111, followed by Terry with 98, Vicksburg with a 97 and St. Aloysius with 24.

“We did real good in the field events, but we need to do better with our running events,” Tyrone said. “Natchez showed that they have some excellent sprinters. We’re getting better. We were 14th out of 30 teams down at Southern Miss. Here, we went 1-2 in the pole vault, won the 300 hurdles and James Harris got us some points in the jumps.”

Raymond won the girls team title with 158 points to beat the Lady Vikes’ total of 133. Natchez was third with 125 and Vicksburg placed fourth with 89. St. Aloysius was sixth with 29 points.

“We had a pretty good day,” said first-year Vicksburg girls coach Dedra Robinson. “Kourtney Jones got us the 800 meter run. We struggled some with the cold weather, but the girls tried hard.”

St. Aloysius coach Mike Jones knew both his girls and boys teams would be overmatched by the big school field. The Flashes were the lone Class 1A school at the meet. Warren Central, Terry and Natchez are all 5A schools while Vicksburg and Yazoo City are 4As. Raymond was the lone 3A school.

“For us, we’re running against the clock. I don’t worry about the finish,” Jones said. “Still, we didn’t do very well. We’ve been hurt with all this rain and it showed with our times.”

St. Al’s only other meet was at the Jackson Public Schools meet at Hughes Field. They will run again at the Viking Relays next week at Warren Central and then compete at Jackson Prep on April 8.

Price Blagg was the top St. Al performer, placing third in both the shot and discus.

Williams, the defending Class 4A champ in the shot, was dominant, winning the event by nearly eight feet (50-03). Joe Harris of WC was second at 42-10.

Vicksburg’s other top performers were its second place 4×200 meter relay team along with Demond Calvin, second in the 200 meter dash, and Colby Smith’s second in the 100 meter dash.

Eric Williston got a win for the Vikings in the pole vault while James Harris finished with a tie for first in the high jump (6-2), second in the triple jump (44-03), and third in long jump (20-6). DeAndrea Smith won the 300 hurdles for WC in 42.23 with Vicksburg’s Dominique Taylor getting second.

The Lady Vikes got wins from Jessica Williams in the 3200 run, Kiera Ross in the 100 hurdles (19.02), Jessica Gates in the pole vault (7-6), and Cheynee Triplett in the discus (89-11).

Jones had the Missy Gators’ lone win in the 800 meter run, but Vicksburg did get second in all three relays, along with a seconds from Keenasha Minor in the high jump, Demetris Graham in the shot and Meredith Stirgus in the 400 dash.


Contact Jeff Byrd at