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Natchez native Wimley tries to extend season

ATLANTA — It’s either go hard or go home for Natchez native Alicia Wimley as she heads to the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta todayto hopefully qualify for the NCAA East Preliminaries.

Wimley, a Natchez High School graduate, is in her senior year at Mississippi Valley State University as a hurdler, but her final season didn’t quite go the way she had planned.

“I hurt myself during hurdles in practice in the beginning of the outdoors track season,” Wimley said. “To get through it ,I went to physical therapy and made sure to ice it. I just knew I had to suck it up because it’s my last year.”

Because of her recurring hip flexor injury, which she is still battling today, Wimley has had limited practice and limited competitive action. But Wimley said she wouldn’t let her hip take away everything she has worked for in her collegiate career.

Women’s track head coach Danielle Douglas said Wimley is known for being a bit fiery and motivated to get the task done.

“She is the type of person you don’t have to say much to,” Douglas said. “She has really come into her own these past few years. We try to use reverse psychology with her in practice, and she tells us she’s going to show us and win.”

The Georgia Tech Invitational is Wimley’s last chance to extend her season in the 100-meter hurdles, and she takes it as motivation.

“I know I have to run my butt off, I have no other choice,” Wimley said. “My goal is to run it in 13.7 seconds for my best shot at qualifying.”

Wimley ran the event in 14 seconds flat earlier this season.

Wimley said her event begins at 4:30 p.m. today, and she wants to make it count not only for herself, but for Natchez as well.

“I love my school and my old coaches Larry Wesley and (Willie) Wood, and I just want to make them proud,” she said.