Missy Gators aiming for fifth consecutive state title in 4×100 meter relay

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2018

The Vicksburg High girl’s 4×100 meter relay team had to give their all at last weekend’s MHSAA Class 5A North State track meet, but none more than Kiona Patton.

The Missy Gators came flying out of the gate, but it became clear the race would go down to the wire with perennial contenders Center Hill.

The Missy Gators had already beaten them in 4×200 relay with a time of 1:44.49, but this race was much closer. Patton was neck and neck with Center Hill’s Kyla Johnson in the home stretch and, as they reached the finish line, Patton leaned across just .05 seconds before Johnson to win.

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As Patton thrust herself across the finish line, she fell to the ground at full speed and rolled across the rough track, leaving her with a couple of grizzly scars that are still healing.
Now it’s time for round two.

The Missy Gators will look to beat Center Hill again and continue their dynasty in the 4×100 Friday at the MHSAA Class 5A state meet at Pearl High School. Vicksburg has won the state championship in the event for four consecutive years.

“I hope I don’t have to do what I did Saturday on Friday. Hopefully we can figure something else out,” Patton laughed. “I took one for the team, I wasn’t worried about the scars, I felt pretty good after knowing that we came in first.”

Patton was still thrilled that the relay team, which also includes Shadia Cain, Taylor Gray, and Markia Anderson, was able to come out with two victories at the North State meet. They beat Center Hill by almost a second — a blowout in track terms — in the 4×200.

Vicksburg will have the best seed time in both relays.

“It was pretty shocking because Center Hill had the fastest time on paper, and we were neck-and-neck at the end,” Patton said. “So it was pretty shocking that we got first, and I’m hoping that we can win state. We’re going to be heads up again. We’ve got the fastest time between North State and South State, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to come through with it on Friday.”

The 4×400 relay team of Anderson, Cain, Ashley Barnes and Char’Davia Anderson also qualified for the state meet with a second-place finish at North State.

Vicksburg coach Dee Robinson-Cable said she was impressed with her team.

“We really went to see what Center Hill was about, because they are the ones who are contending,” Robinson-Cable said. “They have a lot of great girls, great talent, and I just wanted to see how we actually matched up with really great talent that’s in our district.”

For Robinson-Cable, setting up her relay teams has been a season long project. She thinks she finally has the right formula.

“Every meet when we first started out, I was switching them up, because we’re talented enough to win it. I just wanted to get a little bit more savvy with it, and the exchanges be really smooth,” Robinson said. “I’ve switched them up all year to see what we’re going to look like, and we finally got the combination that worked the week before district.”

Robinson-Cable said she was excited about the chance to defend their title in the 4×100, and possibly add some more gold medals. Vicksburg finished second in the 4×200 at last year’s state meet, and was sixth in the 4×400.

“We’re going to keep working like we work, and we’ll keep doing what we do, because what we’re doing is working. It’s just going to be a little bit harder,” Robinson-Cable said.

Vicksburg High girls

Taylor Gray – 200 meters
Char’Davia Anderson – 100 hurdles
Jordan Davis – 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, triple jump
Brandi Dillon – Shot put, discus
Relays – 4×100, 4×200, 4×400
Vicksburg High boys
Robert Jones – Long jump
Relays – 4×100, 4×200, 4×400

Class 2A/4A/6A: Friday, 11 a.m., at Pearl H.S.
Class 1A/3A/5A: Saturday, 11 a.m., at Pearl H.S.