MPSA track: Trinity&8217;s Green back at state in 3,200

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; First it was an ankle injury. Then it got aggravated. Then came the flu.

Trinity Episcopal distance runner Austin Green hasn&8217;t had the sophomore and junior seasons everyone may have thought after making the MPSA state track meet as an eighth-grader and a freshman, but he&8217;s back now.

And everyone&8217;s hoping he&8217;s a little better because of it. Green will go Saturday morning in the 3,200-meter as prep athletes from the Miss-Lou prepare for the state meet.

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&8220;I&8217;m just having ups and downs,&8221; he said. &8220;I missed my first meet. It&8217;s the same injury, but it wasn&8217;t as bad as last year. I was running, I tripped and it rolled and tore some ligaments. This year I just went to physical therapy for a while, and I had to run with an ankle brace.&8221;

Green came back last week to finish third in the event in 11:24 at South State and get the invite to state. It&8217;s his first appearance after qualifying two years ago as a freshman before adversity set in.

&8220;An ankle injury, and he&8217;s had another ankle injury this year,&8221; said his dad, Mason Green. &8220;It&8217;s been a tough two years. Then he came down with the flu. It&8217;s been awful.&8221;

And Austin knows he could have done better at South State had everything gone better for him. Two years ago he finished third at state in the mile just below 5:00, and as an eighth-grader in 2003 he finished in fifth place.

So he knows what it&8217;s going to be like. It&8217;s just been a while since he&8217;s been there.

&8220;When you get there, it&8217;s a whole new game,&8221; Austin said. &8220;You&8217;re blood gets pumping. It&8217;s a remarkable thing.&8221;

In other boys&8217; events at the state meet, Huntington&8217;s Hounds will have more participants than in recent years along with two &8212; Ricky Dunbar and Antonio Jordan &8212; hoping to come away with the top prize in their respective events.

Dunbar won South State in the long jump, and Jordan did the same in the high jump.

&8220;This is probably the highest I can remember the guys finishing team-wise,&8221; Huntington coach Penny Moak said. &8220;We usually have two or three go and do real well, but team-wise, we&8217;re looking good. If we go up there and have a good day, the boys&8217; team as a whole could finish in the top four. I think one thing that may be to our advantage is we do have three or four that are capable of coming in first place.&8221;

Dunbar and Jordan are two of them, especially after Jordan cleared 6-2 last week to win at South State. Dunbar went 19-3 1/4. Drew Loomis also has a good shot after he came in second in the 3,200 in 11:25.32.

The 3,200-meter relay also finished second at South State, a finish that came despite poor exchanges of the baton.

&8220;He&8217;s going to be real competitive in that,&8221; Moak said. &8220;Just comparing the times, his time was better than the winning up (in the North). Antonio&8217;s best jump is 6-2, but I think he&8217;s capable of doing better than that. He&8217;s never done it at all until this year. Just because he can jump, he&8217;s got a good chance. Ricky is kind of the same way. He&8217;s real raw in the long jump.&8221;

The Lady Hounds will also have Jessie Lee in the 100 hurdles, and the senior will be making her fifth appearance in the state meet dating back to the eighth grade. She won South State in 17.5 seconds, and teammate Julie Moak came in right behind her in second at 18.0.

Adams Christian will have Katlyn O&8217;Quinn in the 3,200 after she won South State.

Tensas Academy will send Ish Crigler to the state meet in the 400 after she won South State in 1:04. Mary Miller Ratcliff will go in the mile.

Cody Hill is the defending champ in the shot put.