Lady ‘Dogs cruise to South State

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

GULFPORT &045; Armed with a bucket full of first place medals and clear-cut South State championship, the Natchez High Lady Bulldogs immediately began thinking about the Class 5A state meet next week.

A fourth consecutive state championship?

&uot;We look better this year than we looked last year,&uot; Natchez High head coach Larry Wesley said. &uot;I’m taking more people in more meets. Everybody we took to South State, they’re going to state. The girls looked good. We finally got Vicksburg, Hattiesburg and Gulfport behind us. Those three teams were pushing us real hard.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

The Lady Bulldogs were without question the most solid team in 5A at the South State meet Saturday. They finished with 124 points with Vicksburg in second with 96 and Gulfport and Hattiesburg tied for third each with 91.

The Lady Bulldogs earned eight first-place awards &045; including a sweep in the relays &045; to get the title at the meet of Natchez High and Cathedral track teams.

The 400 relay of Tanieka Hill, Taji Dorsey, Candace Frye and Ke’Airra Jones won it in 48.93 seconds, the 800 relay of Hill, Frye, Dorsey and Jones won it in 1:41.97 and the mile relay of Porsha Singleton, Whitney Thomas, Jones and Dorsey won that in 4:05.19.

&uot;We practiced on that a lot this week,&uot; Wesley said. &uot;At first we mixed them up. But we always sweep the relays. That’s our strongest point &045; relays. We have to have those 30 points.&uot;

Hill also took two firsts in her hurdles events &045; 14.81 seconds in the 100 and 45.06 seconds in the 300 &045; but tweaked a muscle in the 300 to sit out the mile relay. But Hill, the two-time state champ in both hurdles, comes into the state meet as a favorite again to net a sweep.

&uot;It (300 time) was one of the lower times she’s had,&uot; Wesley said. &uot;She had a good day. But she got hurt, and we had to pull her off. But she had a good, good day.&uot;

Other firsts were Jones in the 400 in 57.16, Singleton in the 800 in 2:34.19 and Jones in the high jump at 5-8.

Others qualifying for the state meet were Frye in third in the 100 at 12.59 seconds, Dorsey in second in the 200 in 24.55 seconds, Frye in second in the 100 hurdles at 15.51 seconds and fourth in the 300 at 48.31 seconds and Dorsey in second in the long jump at 17-11 and second in the triple jump at 36-9.

On the boys’ side, the same Vicksburg nemesis came into play Saturday as the Gators edged out Natchez High for the South State title. The Gators finished with 86 points to Natchez High’s 80, while Biloxi finished third with 62.

The two will butt heads again next week in the state meet, but this time things will be split up defending champion Brandon coming out of the North.

&uot;My discus people didn’t do what they were supposed to do,&uot; Wesley said. &uot;That’s where they got us at. Their guy finished pretty high, and those points made a difference. Next week is going to be a little bit different. Vicksburg has a good team. We just can’t get them out of the way.

&uot;But Vicksburg didn’t have but two relays qualified. It’s going to hurt them real bad. Brandon is not as good as they were last year. In region they were winning with 100 points, and we had 130.&uot;

The Bulldogs took two first and a second in the relays, while Kedrieck Gibbons continued his undefeated mark in the 110 and 300 hurdles. The 400 relay team of Anthony Green, Gerald Butler, Gibbons and Travis Washington came in second in 42.92 seconds.

The 800 relay team of Green, Jerald Shelvy, Washington and Gibbons won it in 1:29.40, while the same four won the mile relay in 3:29.71. Gibbons also won the long jump at 22-7, Washington finished second in the 400 at 51.11 seconds and Shelvy was fourth in the 300 hurdles in 42.72.

Others results were Washington in sixth in the 100 in 11.28 and Green seventh at 11.29, Travis Graves in eighth in the 800 in 2:21 and sixth in the 1,600 at 4:56, John Isaac was seventh in the 3,200 at 12:07 and Shelvy was sixth in the 110 hurdles in 16.15.

The top four finishes qualify for state.

Cathedral, meanwhile, got eight qualified for the state meet next week, including siblings Claire and John Paul Kenda in distance. Claire Kenda finished second in the 3,200 in 14:44, while John Paul took third in the 1,600 in 5:33.

In girls, the Lady Wave 800 relay team of Madeline Jeansonne, Meghan Zito, Kristina Brumfield and Christian Dobard finished fourth in 2:05, Jeansonne was fourth in the 400 in 1:07.82 and Dobard was third in the 200 in 28.83 seconds and third in the long jump at 14-10.

In boys, Taylor Brantley was third in the 800 in 2:21 and Patrick Vogt was second in the pole vault at 11-0.