Pontotoc girls seek 3rd state track title

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

Pontotoc has had a lot of success at the MHSAA state track and field meet, but the Lady Warriors have never won three straight titles.
It could happen Saturday.
Pontotoc, the two-time defending state champion in 4A, has athletes qualified in 13 of the meet’s 17 scheduled events at Pearl High School.
“It’s come together; we’ve had some pleasant surprises,” said Lady Warriors coach Mike Bain, who lost three of his top point-scorers from the 2011 state championship team. “We’ve just got to do it Saturday.”
While the Class 2A, 4A and 6A meet is scheduled for Saturday, the Class 1A, 3A, 5A meet is scheduled for today.
Last season Bain was so confident of victory, he had state championship T-shirts printed up for his athletes prior to the meet.
“I think we have a good shot, but I haven’t printed up any T-shirts this year,” he said, then laughed. “I think we’re in a good spot. I wouldn’t trade with anybody.”
Pontotoc’s competition from South state, Bain notes, should come from Poplarville.
This year’s Lady Warriors are led by Amber Brinker, who will compete in the high jump, long jump, 100 meters and 200 meters. She won the North state 200 meters in 26.01 seconds.
“She’s dominated for us this season,” Bain said.
Katy McAuley and Robin Shumaker also qualified in four events, including the pole vault.
Pontotoc has also turned to three eighth graders for points – distance runners Locke Hester and Elizabeth Lunn, and sprinter/hurdler Jamaya Johnson, who competed most of the season for the junior high program.
“I watched (Johnson) all season and moved her up when the junior high season was over,” Bain said. “She has been a big surprise.”
Johnson ran a 16.74 in the 100-meter hurdles in the North state meet.
This year’s meet is the 35th for Bain, who has been a part of 10 state titles in girls and boys track at PHS.

Local Favorites
5A – Justin Fondren, Oxford (High Jump)

5A – Austin Super, Oxford (Pole Vault)

5A – Kate Mattox, Starkville (1,600M, 3,200M)

3A – Shawntina Collier, Nettleton (100M)

1A – Aspriona Gilbert, Myrtle (Discus, Shot)

1A – Katina High, Myrtle (3,200M)

6A – Christina Daniels, Tupelo (3,200M)

6A – Darnell Collier, Tupelo (3,200M)

6A – Garrett Rogers, Tupelo (800M, 1,600M)

6A – Eliza Bigham, Tupelo (High Jump)

4A – Locke Hester, Pontotoc (3,200M)

4A – Katy McAuley, Pontotoc (Pole Vault)

2A – Tenesha Woods, Potts Camp (Triple Jump)