Bulldogs won’t be denied in ’07; girls team looking to continue run of championships

Published 7:35 pm Friday, March 23, 2007

In the past five years, the Natchez High girls track team brought home the title at the state 5A meet, while the boys have finished in the top fiveeach year, including a second place finish last season.

This year the Bulldogs are off to another fast start according to head coach Larry Wesley. He said his team has had strong finishes in every meet they have competed in, but especially at West Feliciana where the boys team took first place and the girls finished fourth.

“We have a good inside chance at winning district. The girls took first and the boys finished second (last year),” Wesley said. “All my boys are back so I am looking for them to do well.”

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Wesley added that he is expecting really big things from his 4×100-meter boys relay team, one he said that has come close, but underperformed, in the past.

“The past few years we have finished second when we should have finished first,” he said.

This year’s team, which consists of Jeremy Buckles, Latarus Frazier, JorDon Smith Derrick McGee and Jeremy Hargrave have first place finishes at the West Feliciana and the University of Southern Mississippi meets earlier this month. Wesley said they are ranked sixth nationally.

“We’ve pretty much picked up where we left off,” Buckles said. All agree that they will be a threat as a top contender for the state 4×100 m. relay title.

Wesley said he has expectations for his girls team this year as well.

“The girls could be better, but we will be competitive,” he said.

Besides loosing a few girls over the off-season, he said injuries have also been a problem.

On the other hand some girls have done quite well. Kiara Jones finished first in the 200 m. dash and the high jump, and her relay team finished second in the 4×400 m. relay at the USM meet.

Wesley said senior La-Colony Oliver is also having a good season. Oliver has ran track under Wesley since she was in the seventh grade, and competes in the 800 m. run, the 4×200 m. and the 4×400 m. relay.

Her goal in her final high school season is to win state in the 800 m. run. Last year she finished fourth.

“I like the competition and I like a good challenge,” she said. “I’ve gotten used to running that distance, and I know how to pace myself.”

Freshman Alicia Wimley is just getting her start in her track career as she is competing in multiple events in her second season of track.

“I am competing in the long jump, triple jump, 110 m. hurdles, 300 m. hurdles and sometimes relays,” Wimley said.

She was a member of the 4×400 m. relay team that finished second at the USM meet. She said she likes the triple jump because it is fun.

“Our relay teams and sprinters have typically done well, we’ve pretty much always been a speed team,” Wesley said.

The Bulldogs will be back in competition Friday and Saturday when they travel to Woodville to compete in the Wordy Hicks relays.