Back on Top: Chargers reign supreme in 5A track
PEARL —There was some deja vu for Oxford Charger coach Chris Bush Monday evening. Standing on the infield of Pearl High’s track facility, with his Chargers celebrating their MHSAA Class 5A state title, Bush was reminded of what it felt like to win a state title.
Bush helped lead the Chargers to back-to-back state championships as an athlete, with the 2007 title coming down to the mile relay. Monday’s 5A meet came down to the mile relay, with the Chargers holding a four-point lead over Vicksburg heading into the meet finale.
Oxford finished fourth in the relay, more than good enough, to secure 76 total points and edge out Vicksburg by three to capture the school’s first title in Class 5A, and sixth overall since 2002. For Bush, winning the title was sweet, especially since the Chargers finished second overall last year.
“We had a shot a winning last year and we walked away second. I said ‘Lord, don’t let me get second again.’ That was the first feeling from today,” Bush said moments after the victory. “We came down here with the intention of winning (last year) and Canton came out of nowhere, so it was good to come here today and get that monkey off our back from last year.
“It does bring back some memories for me. It did come back to the 4×4 and when I was here, two times it came down to the 4×4,” Bush added. “Our guys had trained really hard. We were confident in their training, that we could beat or finish right behind Vicksburg and that was our job in order for us to win today.”
Oxford’s balance proved to be another key to their title win. The Chargers had a balance in both field and track events. Michael McGhee got Oxford off to a great start by winning the shot put, while Tristan Orman and Pruitt Griffin finished first and third in the 3,200 meter run, respectively, a short time later.
The Chargers continued to build points throughout the day, with Glenn Gordon in the long jump, Rob Farris in the 110-meter hurdles and DK Metcalf in the 300 hurdles. James Burnett finished third in the 400, another key finish late, while in the 800, Kendall Jenkins finished second, while Alex Thomas, a sophomore, took fourth in his first state meet.
For more on the Chargers’ win, see Friday’s print edition of the Citizen with even more in-depth coverage of the victory.