By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
PEARL – Mike Bain knows a lot about winning state championships.
Monday, the Pontotoc Lady Warriors gave their veteran coach his 43rd state title with a victory in the MHSAA Class 4A state track and field meet at Pearl High School.
Pontotoc’s win was the third in a row for the program – a first.
“This has been a great group of girls,” Bain said before his team accepted the championship trophy. “Three in a row doesn’t come around often.”
Bain has now been a part of 11 track state titles and 32 cross country titles – boys and girls.
Pontotoc scored 96.50 points to beat a 26-team field. Lafayette was second with 78.
“We had some things that didn’t go right in some events, but we had some other spots pick us up,” Bain said.
Katy McAuley won the pole vault for the second straight season with a 9-6. Amber Brinker ended her prep career with wins in the high jump and high jump. Locke Hester, an eighth grader, won the 3,200 meters.
Tupelo’s boys and girls put together third-place finishes in the 6A meet.
The boys finished with 45 points to trail winner Madison Central (87) and Clinton (80). The girls scored 47 points to finish behind winner Jackson Murrah (84.50) and Clinton (48).
For the boys, senior Garrett Rogers was a double winner in the 800 meters and 1,600 meters.
He won the mile in 4:44.62 with a sprint to the finish to edge Clinton’s Conner Graham. An hour later, a tired Rogers won the 800 in 2:01.64 with a strong performance.
In the boys 3,200 meters, freshman Darnell Collier nearly fell at the finish line, but defeated Oak Grove’s Will Murphy in a photo finish to win in 10:00.68.
Tupelo’s Christina Daniels, a freshman, won the 3,200 meters with a 11:37.53, a personal best.
Also for Tupelo, Antoinette Riddle had a PR in her triple jump victory with a leap of 35-10. Wave freshman high jumper Eliza Bigham won the 6A high jump with a leap of 5-4.