By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – To catch this year’s 43rd annual Daily Journal Relays you’ll need to head today – not Saturday – to Tupelo High School.
“It’s a little different deal this year,” Tupelo coach Brian Jones said. “We planned it this way. Hopefully, running on a Friday will spark some interest.
“Also, being able to run at night will be a different experience for the athletes.”
However, the meet could be postponed until April 5, Jones said, depending on today’s weather forecast of rain. A decision will be made this morning.
The 13-team, two-division meet is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. with field events and the 3,200 meter run. The remainder of the running events will start at 6:15 p.m.
Tupelo, Columbus, New Hope, Olive Branch, Oxford, Saltillo and Starkville will compete in Division 1.
Biggersville, Booneville, French Camp, Greenville St. Joseph, Simmons and West Lowndes are scheduled to compete in Division 2.
Tupelo’s boys and girls teams have competed in two meets this season – Mississippi College and Mississippi State.
“We ran at Mississippi State last week and had a pretty good day,” Jones said. “We ran against some good teams.
“Running the (Journal Relays) gives us the opportunity to improve on what we’ve done. You want to see your times starting coming down from week to week. We’re looking to see who moves forward before division time.”
The North Mississippi meet for all classes is scheduled for May 4 while the state meets will be run May 11 and May 13 at Pearl High School.
Christina Daniels, the defending 6A state champion in the 3,200 meters, broke the school record at the MC meet when she was clocked in 11:22. The old THS mark was an 11:23 set by Emily Crow.
“Breaking the record was my goal for the end of the season,” Daniels said. “I was excited. It came as a shock.”
Daniels is one of two girls state champions returning for the Wave. Eliza Bigham returns in the high jump.
Charde Hannah, who won her heat last week at MSU in the 100-meter hurdles, is favored in her event.
Tupelo’s boys are led by Darnell Collier, the defending state and Journal Relays champion in the 3,200 meters.
Andrew White is also expected to challenge in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
In the sprints, Marquis Allen and Rodney McIntosh will run the 100 and 200 meters, along with the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
Jeremiah Dent has a season’s best 45.4 throw in the shot put. Jlin Gasaway is a favorite in the triple jump.