Oxford’s Elliott takes home title in 1,600
PEARL — Oxford’s Swayze Elliott has been looking to be pushed all season long by an opponent in the 1,600 meter run. She got that push Monday in the MHSAA Class 5A state track meet from West Jones’ Meredith Follis.
Elliott’s push resulted in a first-place finish, garnering 10 more points for the Lady Chargers, who entered the event in third place overall.
Follis came into the 1,600 seeded first with a time of 5:33.40. Elliott was seven seconds behind, but Monday, she was much faster, finishing with a 5:22.06.
“I was so thankful to have her to run with. I miss the Mattox sisters (from Starkville) because they were the best to run with. They were just such good runners. I’m really glad to have had somebody push me,” said Elliott, who knew Follis was going to be a challenge after the first lap. “Everyone runs differently. Some give their fastest at the start and then die or the give their fastest at the end. I didn’t know what she was going to be like, but she had a strong first two laps. That’s what I needed.”
Elliott pushed it into high gear between the second and third laps and then when she took the lead, she never let off the gas. Last week, Elliott said she threw up twice, stressing about the race. This week, that wasn’t the case, thanks to some steps to correct the problem.
“Last week (in the 5A North Half meet), I was having nauseous problems. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself. I’ve been using music to calm myself down and not focus as much on the outcome, but to enjoy the race. I mean that’s why we’re here,” Elliott said. “State is the best time to run because the best people are here and you get the best competition. It’s the end of the track season and you just want to give everything you can.
The second and third lap has been my weakness from a lot of the races, but I sped that up so it shows that everything helped this week.”
The Chargers are now in first place with 44 points after the 1,600 or 11 events scored. Tristan Orman finished third in the 1,600 helping push that total to 44, along with the help of Jonathan Tyler, who also competed in the race.