Trinity boys pull away for South title

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 27, 2003

GALLMAN &045; Remember in football how it all came down to the last week of the season between Trinity Episcopal and WCCA?

Track, as it turned out, is no different.

Both the Saints and Rams jockeyed for the top spot at the Class A South State meet Saturday at Copiah Academy, but the Saints got key finishes in running events to edge out the Rams and take the South State championship.

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The Saints finished with 57 points to WCCA’s 45 after the Rams took the top honor last week at the District 7-A meet.

&uot;I thought we had some guys step up to the plate today,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;We’re really excited, and I think we’ve got a good shot at winning state. Everybody we had &045; I had on a sheet of paper what they had to run &045; did exactly what they had to do this week. Last year we were fourth in the state, and the year before we finished second. Hopefully we’ll come out next week, work hard and bring another state championship to Natchez.&uot;

Both teams were tight in the team standings until the relay events when the Saints swept all three with first-place finishes, despite Gregory Ketchings sitting out with a sore hamstring. In the 800-meter relay the team of Nason Stephens, Walt Ketchings, Ryan Rachal and Dudley Guice Jr. won it in 1:34.4, and the 400 relay team of Stephens, Chase Brown, Rachal and Guice won it in 45.2 seconds.

The mile relay team of Brown, Rachal, Guice and Stephens won it in 3:41.

&uot;It was close all the way,&uot; King said of the team standings. &uot;(WCCA) Coach (Paul) Hayles and I are such good friends. They beat us at district last week, and they could beat us next week. Finishing first in all three relays &045; that was certainly big for us. I’m really excited about our relay teams.&uot;

The Saints had other high finishes to stay in good shape along the way. Brown won the 300 hurdles in 42.3 seconds, and Austin Green finished third in the 3,200-meter in 11:31. Dudley Guice finished second in three events &045; twice behind Amite School Center’s Jeremy Perkins &045; at 11.1 seconds in the 100, 23.3 seconds in the 200 and 16.4 seconds in the 110 hurdles.

Stephens was second in the 800 in 2:15 and first in the 400 at 52.3 seconds. Rachal was fourth in the 400 at 53.6 seconds.

&uot;The kids have really trained hard this year,&uot; King said. &uot;A guy like Dudley Guice started running 11.9 in the 100, and now he’s running 11.1. That’s what’s fun &045; watching those guys bring their times down.&uot;

On Wednesday Rachal was fourth in the triple jump at 38-3, and Gregory Ketchings was third in the long jump at 19-8.