Bulldogs feeling confident heading into regionals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 26, 2001

Natchez head track coach Henry &uot;Doc&uot; Woods is not lacking in confidence as his teams prepare for Friday’s regional track meet in Meridian.

The again when you have runners like Janice Davis and a string of 34 district titles in the past 35 years it would be hard not to be confident.

&uot;We have set a standard in the state of Mississippi, not by winning events but with quality, elite times,&uot; Woods said.

Last Saturday the Natchez High track teams dominated the field in both the boys and girls district meets.

Led by Davis, the girls won 13 of 15 events to easily outdistance Provine (117 to 52). The Lady Bulldog runners also grabbed seven second-place finishes.

Davis, one of the top runners in the nation, won three solo events and helped the relay teams to three more.

Natchez was almost as dominating on the boys side at the district meet, with distance runner Clint Johnson helping the Bulldogs to a 115-70 win over second place Provine. Jim Hill finished third (32 points,) and Forrest Hill was fourth (31 points).

Johnson collected three first place titles (800 meters, 1600 meters and 3200 meters) as the Bulldogs finished with wins in 13 of the 17 events.

They also added five second-place finishes to go along with four third-place finishes. The top four competitors from each event at the district meet qualified for the regionals.

The boys team qualified 23 individual or relay teams in the 17 events, while the girls are sending sending 23 in 15 events.

The regional track meet should provide the Natchez teams better competition than what they faced in the district meet.

The top challenger for the boys is expected to be Brandon High School, while the girls will get a stiff test from host Meridian.

The top four in each event will move on the the state championship meet to be held on May 5 at a site to be determined.

&uot;Everyone in Mississippi must realize the way to the state must come through Natchez,&uot; Woods said.