By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
PEARL – Myrtle’s Stephanie Floyd lost by five seconds to Tupelo Christian Prep’s Emma Woolhouse in the 3,200 meters at last week’s North Mississippi Class 1A meet.
Floyd changed her strategy for Saturday’s MHSAA Track and Field Championships and left Pearl High School’s complex as a state champion.
“I wanted to start out fast, stay ahead and speed up at the end,” said Floyd, a freshman. “I prayed hard and gave it all I had.”
Floyd posted a winning time of 13 minutes, 18 seconds while Woolhouse was second with a 13:43 clocking.
Woolhouse, an eighth grader, didn’t expect the speed Floyd possessed in this rematch.
“We started out the same today,” Woolhouse said. “I figured we’d slow down the second lap. She kept up her first-lap speed.
“She just had it in her today and I didn’t.”
In the 5A 3,200 meters, Starkville eighth grader Kate Mattox defended her state title with an 11:13 clocking. She also won the 1,600 meters.
“When I get in a race, I get in the moment,” she said.
Oxford sophomore Mike McGhee went to YouTube in an attempt to improve his form in the shot put. He won last year’s 5A state title and he defended it Saturday.
McGhee won with a throw of 52 feet, 10.5 inches.
“I went on YouTube looking for ways to throw the spot put farther,” he said. “I found something. I changed my footwork and worked on my quickness.”
Ripley sophomore Jada Rich won the 3A shot put with a throw of 33-03.5 feet. She was third last season as a freshman.
“You have to use everything you have, your arms, your legs … and just chunk it,” she said.
Myrtle’s Meshay Cox won the 1A shot put with a 32-10.50 throw while the Hawks’ Geniesha Montgomery won the 800 meters.
Holly Spring’s Anthony Jones won the 3A discus with a 148-6.
Oxford’s Tristan Orman won the boys 5A 3,200 meters with a 10:10 clocking. The Lady Chargers’ Sally Rychlak won the pole vault with a 9-0.
Starkville’s Grady Damian won the 5A 1600 meters in 4:40.
In the team competition, Hinds AHS girls and boys (1A), Charleston girls (3A), Crystal Springs boys (3A), Pearl girls (5A) and Canton boys (5A) won state titles.
Oxford’s boys finished second in 5A, 13 points behind Canton.