By Gene Phelps
PEARL – Reggie Miller’s still wondering today where he got his wings.
The Saltillo junior soared to a state title with a leap of 6 feet, 8 inches in the high jump Monday in the MHSAA Class 5A state track and field championship.
The 6-8 was a personal best for the first-year high jumper. His previous best was a 6-4.
“God has blessed me,” he said, then smiled. “I have no idea how I jumped 6-8 today.”
Miller, who placed second in the triple jump, says he doesn’t practice the high jump that often. Instead, he draws on his leaping skills from basketball. He’s a shooting guard for the Tigers.
“I don’t have any technique,” he said. “I just jump. I jump like I’m in the gym.”
He plans to practice a little more next season and attempt the state record of 7-2.25.
“I can get better,” he said.
Oxford wins 5A
Oxford’s boys edged Vicksburg by three points – 76 to 73 – to win its sixth state championship in track and field and its first in Class 5A.
Mike McGhee, a junior, won the shot put for the Chargers with a throw of 54 feet, 2 inches.
“That was my PR,” said McGhee, who plays linebacker in football for the Chargers. “I just let it rip. I knew it was good when it left my hand.”
Also for Oxford, Kendall Jenkins finished second in the 800 meters and James Burnett third in the 400 meters. In the 3,200 meters, Tristan Orman and Pruitt Griffin captured second and third.
Oxford second-year head coach Chris Bush didn’t get the point production he predicted – he had Chargers scoring 92 points – but he got balance scoring from his team on the track and in the field events.
Plus, he got a dropped baton by Vicksburg in the 4×200 relay.
“That gave us our second breath,” Bush said. “It’s a win; we’ll take it.”
Freshman distance runner Emma Woolhouse made history by becoming Tupelo Christian Prep’s first female state champion with her win in the Class 1A 3,200 meters.
Woolhouse, who entered the race as the top-seeded runner and the North Mississippi champion, won in 13 minutes, 48 seconds to beat her Myrtle competitors – Stepanie Floyd (14:02) and Caroline Greer (14:03).
Also for TCPS, eighth grader Abby Hanby won the 1,600 meters in a 6:05 clocking to become the second Lady Eagle to win state.
Hamilton’s Keshon Heard didn’t run as fast as he wanted to, but it was still good enough to win.
Heard, a sophomore, captured the Class 1A 100 meters in 11.29 seconds … without using starting blocks.
“I’ve been winning all year without using them,” he said. “I’d probably be faster if I’d used them.”