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NHS hosts invitational meet

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School senior Gabriel Holmes has done his fair share of traveling with the Bulldogs’ track team the last few years.

On Friday afternoon, however, Holmes got to experience a rare home-field advantage at the Natchez Invitational track meet. After competing in the 2-mile run, Holmes said he was glad to be able to run on the track on which he regularly practices.

“It feels great,” Holmes said. “It’s our first home track meet (this season). Family and friends are here, and you just have to do your best. It’s very special to compete in front of family.”

Natchez High School senior Gabriel Holmes competes in the 2-mile run Friday afternoon at the Natchez Invitational track meet at NHS. (Michael Kerekes \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School senior Gabriel Holmes competes in the 2-mile run Friday afternoon at the Natchez Invitational track meet at NHS. (Michael Kerekes \ The Natchez Democrat)

The invitational included athletes from Madison (La.), Franklin County, Jefferson County, Wilkinson County, Vicksburg and East Feliciana high schools. NHS track coach Larry Wesley said after last year’s invitational was canceled because of rain, being able to get it in this year was a big plus for area track teams.

“It feels great to have people out here,” Wesley said. “It’s great weather, great atmosphere and the crowd is pretty decent.”

LSU football commit Devin Voorhies was on hand to compete in the long jump for Wilkinson County High School. With basketball season over for Voorhies, track and field is a good way to

help prepare for the upcoming football season this fall.

“This helps keep my speed up,” Voorhies said. “I practice football on Mondays and Wednesdays (lifting weights), then I come to track practice.”

Wesley said he’s glad area athletes can compete on their track after it took so long for NHS to have a new track put in place.

“This helps a lot,” Wesley said. “With us not having a track for the last 10 years, it’s hard to pull people in, because they were obligated to other meets. Now we’re able to draw them here.”

NHS will host its Blue and Gold meet in April.