If this town had one track team, the sky’s the limit
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003
You know what’s the best thing about track and field?
While just about every sport has its share of mind games going back and forth between opponents, track is much more simple.
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Whoever makes it to the finish line first is the winner.
And that leaves very little to dispute.
Saturday’s MHSAA state track meet wound down the spring season for area preps, and it occurred to me while under the sun at Hughes Field that the season was pretty memorable for athletes at Natchez High, Trinity Episcopal, Adams Christian and Cathedral High School.
Which, of course, got me thinking of an idea &045; and I’m probably the last one to finally get it.
&uot;If you put all into one, there would be nobody beat the Natchez track team,&uot; said Cathedral track coach Randy Brumfield, in his first season with the Wave and Lady Wave squads. &uot;With the talent we’ve got in that town for track, it would be unbelievable.&uot;
That’s kind of what I’m thinking.
Here you had two state championship teams &045; Natchez High’ girls and Trinity’s boys &045; a handful of multiple individual state champions and others who are likely a year or two away from taking a medal.
This town is already home to two nationally ranked athletes in Janice Davis in the sprints and Kendrick Gibbons in the hurdles. Then the other athletes come in &045; Tiffany Collier and Nikki Hankins won two first-place medals for ACCS, Natchez High’s Tanieka Hill won two first-place medals in the hurdles Saturday, Gibbons won the 110 hurdles and long jump while finishing second in the triple jump and Chase Brown won the 300 hurdles in MPSA Class A.
Relays? You’d be easier identifying the ones that didn’t make the state meet.
Probably the only deficiency the team would have is in the field, although it would have two very good pole vaulters in ACCS’ Will Hinson and Cathedral’s Patrick Vogt. Vogt finished second Saturday at the Class 1A meet, while Hinson scratched at state despite clearing 14-1 earlier this year at a meet in Centreville.
Gibbons and the Natchez High boys’ squad could be a year removed from a state title. Gibbons, a junior, is a shoo-in to repeat as winner in 100 hurdles while excelling in jumps and serving as a key leg on the relay teams.
They came up short to Brandon &045; similar to the outcome at South State.
&uot;Coach McInnis and I talked, and we both agree we’re competition for our teams,&uot; NHS head coach Larry Wesley said.
Cathedral had the least amount of hardware among the four Natchez teams, but don’t count them out in the coming years. Both squads landed a number of participants at the state meet with several of them ninth- and 10th-graders.
They know where they’re headed &045; even though they don’t have their own track.
&uot;We appreciate Natchez High, Coach Wesley and Coach (Wayne) Barnett giving us access to their track,&uot; Brumfield said. &uot;All of those people are good people. They pull for us, and we pull for them.&uot;
And despite not having a legal pit at Natchez, Vogt often works with Hinson and ACCS coach Bill Richardson on his vaults.
The brightest star, however, has got to be the Natchez High girls, winners of three straight 5A titles. While they’re two losing to athletes to Division I schools &045; Davis to Stanford and Lexi Washington to Southern Miss &045; Hill is the only junior with the rest freshmen and sophomores.
This year three eighth-graders surfaced with two making the state meet.
&uot;Our chances look pretty good with the eighth-graders coming in,&uot; Wesley said. &uot;They got some experience, and with the people coming back &045; it’ll be good.&uot;
is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3632 or by e-mail at