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Natchez High track gears up for regional

NATCHEZ — After both his boys and girls squads won their district meet last week, Natchez High School track coach Larry Wesley said he’s feeling pretty good about things.

“That’s a big deal,” Wesley said. “Terry (High School) was picked to win the girls’ meet, and Brandon (High School) was picked to win the boys’ meet. I gave them my game-time speech: I said we can’t beat nobody when it really counts. I guess they rose to the challenge.”

But now his team faces a bigger challenge: the regional meet Saturday in Meridian. And Wesley said his team’s chances just got that much tougher.

“We usually do fairly well, but this is a difficult region,” Wesley said. “I guess we’ll have to go above and beyond this week. It’s going to be tough.”

Senior Emmanuel Griffin will be looking to build off a stellar district finish, in which he placed first in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. Griffin said he was especially pleased to do so well in the 100-meter dash.

“To finish first in the 100 is a great accomplishment,” Griffin said. “It was my first year to run it, and being a senior, I had experience watching other people run it, and I tried to go off what they did. Coach Wesley and my teammates helped me out, too.”

With regional being a bigger stage, Griffin said he’s a bit nervous heading into Saturday’s meet.

“I know that the guys will be ready to run, and I have to try my hardest and hopefully go out on top again,” Griffin said.

Freshman Shamarra Grover also had a strong district showing. She finished third in the 110-meter hurdles, second in the 4X100- and 4X200-meter relays and first in the 300-meter hurdles.

“It felt amazing to work so hard and finally accomplish something,” Grover said. “Coach Wesley pushes you to work harder and keeps you in shape.”

As she heads into the regional meet Saturday, Grover said she feels good about her chances to continue to South State May 4.

“I’m feeling confident,” she said. “I’ve been working hard this week, and I think we’re going to do well.”