Trinity dashing toward state track meet
NATCHEZ — The season started off a little slow for the Trinity episcopal Day School track and field team, but they have picked up speed as one of the top teams heading into the MAIS Class A state meet.
The field events begin at 8:30 a.m. today at Jackson Academy while the track events will start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Jackson Prep.
Trinity head coach Curtis Moroney gathered his track runners later than he expected with the basketball season lasting two weeks longer because of a successful season leading to the overall tournament.
Once Moroney finally got his athletes together, he said he had to make sure not to push them too far too soon. After all, most of his runners went from a prolonged championship football season to an extended basketball season.
Jumping into such a physically demanding sport was going to be difficult enough without Moroney’s help.
“Even though they were in pretty good shape, it’s a different kind of fitness and application of running with track than basketball or football,” Moroney said. “And you can’t push them too hard too early or they’ll shut down on you.
“We started off slow, but once we got going we started to figure out who would run in what events.”
Moroney had multi-sport athletes like Quinton Logan, Hunter Yarbrough, Wyatt Boothe and Arzell and Tommy McCoy on his squad, athletes he has had before and was well aware of their capabilities.
What Moroney wasn’t aware of, was how big of a factor freshman Cade Wells would be in the season.
Wells started out on the junior varsity squad, and worked his way to being the first leg of the varsity relay team, competing in the 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and 4 x 400-meter relays with Logan and Arzell and Tommy McCoy.
The foursome has the speed to break state records, Moroney said, but last week in the South State playoffs, the relay team found out there was much more to winning the relay than the foot race itself.
A bad handoff from Arzell to Logan — second leg to the third — resulted in a disqualification from the 4 x 100-meter relay.
“It was like I was coming too fast and he didn’t take off quick enough,” Arzell said. “I pushed him out of the way so I wouldn’t (run him over).”
Wells said it was like watching a train wreck happen before his eyes when he noticed the different tempos between Arzell and Logan would make for a disastrous finish.
“When I saw them run into each other, I knew it was going to be bad,” Wells said. “I thought to myself, ‘We messed up bad.’”
Despite a disappointing showing, Arzell said they didn’t get down on themselves as they had more relay events to compete in.
Trinity won first place in the 4 x 200-meter relay and the 4 x 400-meter relay to advance to state.
Logan said the foursome has spent extra time this week working on their hand offs.
“You can’t get any faster in a week,” Moroney said. “But if your hand offs are that much smoother, you’ll save time.”
Wells, who will also compete in the 100 and 200-meter dash, said he expects to do well at the state meet thanks to Moroney.
“The way Moroney has pushed me was unreal, he put me through so much but he has helped a lot,” Wells said. “The confidence he has in me makes him like a father to me. As long as I don’t put myself down, I’ll be good.”
Yarbrough will compete in the 3200-meter event, and Taylor Ham — Trinity’s lone female qualifier — will compete in the high jump.