By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Tupelo High senior pole vaulters Callie Watson and Ashton Huey have specific heights they’re shooting for this season.
The two inched closer to achieving their marks as they won their events during Thursday’s 43rd annual Daily Journal Relays at the THS football stadium.
Watson, who has a goal of 12 feet, was disappointed with her winning vault of 9 feet. Last year’s 6A state runner-up at 11-feet, she missed on three attempts at 9-6 in the Relays.
“I’m frustrated because I’m not quite there,” Watson said. “The weather has set us back. Hopefully, I’ll get more practice.
“Thinking about where I am, I think I’ll peak at the right time.”
Watson is the Relays record holder with a vault of 10-2 last season.
Huey, who placed third overall last season at the state meet, recorded a winning vault of 12-6 on his second attempt.
His goal is to vault 14-2, which would qualify him to compete in this year’s New Balance Nationals.
“With pole vaulting it’s all about getting the numbers right,” he said. “You have to have the right pole, the right run and grip.”
Some college coaches have talked to Huey about competing in the multi-event decathlon or heptathlon.
“It would be fun to try,” he said.
On the track, Tupelo’s defending state champion in the 3,200 meters, Darnell Collier, easily won his event in 10 minutes, 30.60 seconds.
“I really didn’t have a strategy,” the sophomore said. “I started out fast. Once I was leading, I relaxed. I ran wild, really fast, the last two laps.”
Collier’s winning time at last season’s state meet was 10:00.68.
Tupelo’s Andrew White easily captured the 1,600 meters in 4:39.
In other early highlights, Starkville’s Kate Mattox won the 3,200 in 11:24, edging Tupelo’s Christina Daniels at 11:27.
Tupelo’s Chardae Hannah won the 100-meter hurdles while the Lady Wave 4×200 relay unit posted a win.
In the boys triple jump, Tupelo’s Jalen Gasaway won with a leap of 43-03 feet. The Lady Wave’s Asia Partlow won the shot put with a throw of 29-07 feet.