Chargers capture 5A North Half track title
A balanced effort, in both field and track events, helped lift the Oxford Chargers to the MHSAA Class 5A North Half title in track Saturday at Bobby Holcomb Field.
The Chargers totaled 133 points, 34 more than Pearl. A total of 15 schools competed in the event. The 2A meet was also held alongside the 5A meet. J.Z. George won the boys’ title with 85 points.
The Lady Chargers finished third with 109 points. Pearl was first with 137, while Canton followed with 121. The 2A title went to J.Z. George with 149 points. West Bolivar followed with 123.
Mike McGhee and Collin Le both went 1-2 in the shot put to give the Chargers 18 points coming out of the field events. (For a complete story on the duo, see an earlier blog post online here at citizen.com). Le also finished second in the discus with a throw of 134 feet, 6 inches.
In the long jump, Glenn Gordon qualified for next week’s state meet by finishing fourth with a leap of 20-9.
On the track, Tristan Orman finished first in the 3,200 with a time of 10 minutes, 8 seconds. Pruitt Griffin also qualified for the state meet by finishing fourth with a 10:31, which was a season best performance.
“It’s always good to come out here and run a fast time a week before state,” Orman said. “That builds up confidence going into the next week. I’ve tied my personal best time four or five times this year and I ran that again today. I’m staying on that consistent time and now I get more rest going into the state meet. Hopefully it will be a big drop against some good competition at the state meet.”
This will be the first time Griffin is taking part in the state meet after coming up short last year.
“It feels good. Getting to state is the name of the game for points. I’m going to get plenty of rest for next week. I’m in the same boat as Tristan. I’ve timed at my (personal record) three times in a row,” Griffin said. “‘I’ll get some rest and have to run a little smarter and try to get on the podium.”
Orman came back and just missed out on finishing first in the 1,600 by a second with a 4:39.26. Pearl’s Shamar Tucker finished first with a 4:38.47. Jonathan Tyler finished third in the 1,600 to qualify for state with a 4:42.13.
In the 400, James Burnett finished second with a 49.60. He also just missed qualifying in the 200 by finishing .06 off fourth place with a 21.99.
In the 110 hurdles, Rob Farris was third with a 15.51, while D.K. Metcalf was fourth in the 300 hurdles (41.03).
Oxford had two qualify in the 800, with Kendall Jenkins finishing second with a 2:00.89 and Alex Thomas taking third with a 2:01.69.
The Chargers’ 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams both advanced. The 4×100 team was third with a 43.57, while the 4×400 team was second with a 3:26.89.
Emily Hankins and Margaret Pepper Adams finished one and two in the 3,200 to garner an early 18 points. Hankins was first with a 12:13.35, while Adams, an eighth-grader, was second with a 12:14.55.
“We know that our distance people are going to be getting one and two. It’s nice to know that we’re the races that your coaches can depend on,” Hankins said shortly after her victory.
“I feel really blessed. I love having teammates that support me and I love having her because she pushes me to have my best times,” Adams said. “Some weeks you don’t (set a personal record) but I’m glad that we got to push each other this week.”
(More on that dynamic duo coming on the blog). Hankins also took second in the 1,600 with a 5:42.77
Swayze Elliott continued her dominant march to state in the 800 by finishing first (2:25.05). She also finished third, behind Hankins, in the 1,600 with a 5:43.10.
Oxford failed to qualify anyone in the 100, 200 or 400.
The 4×200 relay team finished third with a 1:46.99. The 4×400 team just missed qualifying by two seconds, finishing fifth to Lanier with a 4:18.86. Lanier advanced with a 4:16.69.
In the 100 hurdles, Rajah Ramsey advanced by finishing fourth with a 17.32. In the pole vault, Sally Rychlak finished fourth with an 8-0 to move on to the state meet.
Janesha Johnson just missed in the long jump and triple jump, finishing fifth in both. She missed by an inch in the long jump to West Point’s Alexis Gates and a half inch in the triple by finishing behind Caylyn Tate of Pearl with a 33-0.75.
In the discus, Oxford finished third and fourth. Kia Pegues threw 87-10 to take third, while Jerrica Hickinbottom was fourth with an 85-06.