WCCA wins in relay

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

CLINTON &8212; There&8217;s reason for folks at WCCA to be excited about girls&8217; track.

It wasn&8217;t enough that the Lady Rams won the district title for the first time in 16 years and sent a slew of entries to the South State meet. On Saturday, they finished it off with a state championship in the mile relay with a team that ranges from seventh grade to 10th grade.

The team of Kristen Holmes (seventh), Mary Claire Netterville (eighth), Bethany Fletcher (freshman) and Emma Benton (sophomore) posted a time of 4:25 to win the race. It was the only state championship won by anyone from the Miss-Lou Saturday in the second day of the MPSA state meet.

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&8220;We had a good group developing in junior high, and when I moved them up it was enough to capture the varsity title,&8221; WCCA head coach Paul Hayles said. &8220;You mix those young ones in there with them, and the next thing you know we&8217;ve got a pretty good team. We were 10 points from being South State champions. If we do what we&8217;re capable of doing, we should be pretty strong.&8221;

The win came despite tough weather conditions at Mississippi College for the meet. Rain and winds hampered everyone&8217;s ability to get their best efforts in, and many of the times were below those from the South State meet last week.

WCCA&8217;s boys&8217; mile relay team, however, were some that bucked that trend. The team of Eli Ashley, Sean Venezia, Corey Havard and Justin Davis came in third after entering with the sixth-best time.

&8220;They did a super job,&8221; said Hayles, whose boys&8217; team won state in 2004. &8220;They came out of nowhere and took a medal from the others teams participating. It was a great note to end the track season on. They ran with so much heart. It was really something to build on and hopefully head back toward winning.&8221;

The weather was tough on distance runners from Natchez going in the early part of the day. Trinity Episcopal&8217;s Austin Green came in fifth in the 3,200 in 11:27 after the junior said he had trouble breathing at one point during the race.

&8220;I was a little disappointed,&8221; Green said. &8220;It rained, and it actually stopped raining when I stopped running.&8221;

Katilyn O&8217;Quin from Adams Christian came in fifth in the 3,200 in 13:47, and Daniel Brown came in eighth in the mile in 5:14. O&8217;Quin, who finished third at state last year, ran into solid competition from the North this time, coach Kyle Smith said, after winning South State last week.

&8220;She was fifth behind four girls from the North,&8221; he said of the freshman. &8220;She wasn&8217;t far behind. She did pretty well.&8221;

With Huntington, Jessie Lee bettered her time in the 100 hurdles but came in fourth in a time of 17.16 seconds. Her best time coming in was 17.24. Julie Moak came in behind her in sixth at 17.64 seconds.

Other Huntington results were the girls&8217; 800 relay of Mollye Ashmore, Lee, Sarah Loomis and Amberlee Collard came in fifth in 1:56.42; the boys&8217; 800 relay of Jody Cottongin, Colin Stacy, Hunter Norwood and Ricky Dunbar finished in 1:36.28; and the boys&8217; 3,200 relay of Dude Harrell, Corey Gray, Kyle Holzhaub and Jack Brown came in fifth in 9:47.57.

Others were Norwood in fifth in the 300 hurdles in 43 seconds, Drew Loomis in sixth in the 3,200 in 11:54 and Collard in fourth in the 200 in 28.22 seconds.

Other WCCA results were Benton in fourth in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the 200, Sean Venezia in fifth in the mile in 5:29 and Fletcher in second in the 400 in 63.25.

Tensas Academy got a second-place finish from Mary Miller Ratcliff in the mile for the second straight year as she posted a time of 5:53.9. Ish Crigler false started in the 400.

In relays, the 800 relay of Caity Rogers, Kaitlen Emfinger, Aubrey McEacharn and Ish Crigler came in fourth; the 400 relay of Ratcliff, McEacharn, Emfinger and Rogers came in sixth; the mile relay of McEacharn, Crigler, Rogers and Ratcliff came in fourth.