Tupelo’s sprinters ran through injury, illness and absence Saturday to help the Golden Wave capture the boys championship in the 39th annual Daily Journal Relays.
Garian Heard, who anchored Tupelo’s winning 4×400 meter relay unit, was the lone regular in the event.
“Basically, we sucked it up,” Heard said, sitting near the finish line at Golden Wave Stadium. “Everybody was hurting and throwing up. We gave it all we had.”
The Golden Wave runners – Heard, Devon Harper, David Calmes and Albert Stanfield – covered the 1,600 meters in 3 minutes, 34 seconds to win the meet’s final event and help seal Tupelo’s 17.5-point win against Southaven and a seven-team field.
Tupelo’s Chad Bumphis, Matt McIntosh, Josh Tucker and Rich Heyer gave the Wave a win in the 4×200 meters with a 1:29.51 clocking.
Bumphis later suffered an abdominal injury and Heyer became ill following the 400 meters, which led to the new lineup for 4×400. Also, sprinter Keegan Todd was excused from the meet for personal reasons.
“Garian was the on guy who normally runs it,” Tupelo coach Nathan Hall said of the 4×400. “They all stepped up and competed today.”
Tupelo failed to finish the 4×100 when McIntosh and Bumphis dropped a baton exchange on the final leg.
“We had subs in that relay, too,” Hall noted.
Pontotoc girls win
Pontotoc’s girls edged Tupelo to win the large school division while Corinth’s girls and Ripley’s boys captured the small school titles.
Ebony Brinker won the long jump and triple jump for the Lady Warriors while her teammates, Rhandi Ball and Katie Gentry, won the high jump and pole vault. Ball also won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.54 seconds.
Whitney Ray was a double winner for Pontotoc, capturing the 800 meters in 2:33 and the 1,600 meters in 5:35.
“We don’t have the numbers, but we have some good, quality events,” Pontotoc coach Mike Bain said. “We’d love to have a few more sprinters, but our other events are strong.”
On the boys side, Pontotoc’s Andrew Bishop won the 800 meters in 2:06 and the 1,600 in 4:38.
Saltillo’s Corry Hudson dominated the large school sprints with wins in the 100 meters (11.42) and 200 meters (22.57).
Tupelo’s Mckenzie Tyler captured the 110-meter hurdles in 16.07.
Tupelo freshman Georgia Russell is an established star on the soccer field and is slowly becoming one on the track.
Russell, competing for just the second time on the track, won her second consecutive meet with a 49.50 time in the 300-meter hurdles.
The Daily Journal All-Area first-team soccer player’s time was nearly as fast as the small school boys’ clockings.
“She could hold her own with the boys,” Tupelo’s Hall said. “She’s athletic and a good soccer player. You have to be athletic to run the hurdles.”
Russell also competed on Tupelo’s winning 4×400 relay unit and in the 4×200 relay.
Gene Phelps/Daily Journal