By Gene Phelps
TUPELO – Tupelo High’s quest headed into Saturday’s 44th running of the Daily Journal Relays is to prepare for the track and field postseason.
That’s always the goal.
“We’re using this meet to fine tune people for the division meet,” Golden Wave coach Brian Jones said. “You want your best people where you need them by division time.”
The postseason steps off later this month with division, region and North state meets. The state meet is scheduled for May 10 and May 12 in Pearl.
“You use each meet to build,” Jones said. “You don’t want to peak at this time, but we want to solidify what we’ve been working on.”
Tupelo is one of 16 schools with boys and girls teams entered in the Journal Relays, which start at 9 a.m. with the field events.
This year’s meet will feature a 3,200-meter relay, which is not a sanctioned event. Each of the four participants will run two laps – 800 meters.
“Some teams wanted to do it this year,” Jones said. “We did it twice last year at other meets. It gives you an opportunity to look at some of your people in the half mile.”
The Golden Wave boys team has won two meets – Oxford Eagle and Southern Miss – and finished third at Ole Miss.
Tupelo distance runners Darnell Collier, Andrew White and Max Lawson have had competitive springs. Collier and White finished 1-2 in the 3,200 meters in Oxford while Lawson won the 1,600 meters.
Mako Dijkwel won the 800 meters, Maalik Coleman the 300 meter hurdles and Jayland Dillard the 200 meters for Tupelo in Oxford.
The Wave 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams, featuring Quinton Lauderdale, Reed Bigham, Rodney McIntosh and Dillard – have posted winning times.
“They have run really well,” Jones said. “They had their best day in Oxford with their handoffs.”