Rams capture silver

Published 12:32 am Thursday, May 22, 2008

WOODVILLE — Despite placing just behind Veritas School, the Wilkinson County Christian Academy Rams have reason to hold their heads high.

Recently the WCCA Rams girl’s track and field team placed second at the state track meet at Mississippi College in Clinton.

“Coming in, they were very young, but were very talented,” Wilkinson County Christian Academy athletic director Sam Byrd said. “They had a lot of heart. They had some girls really step up.”

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Among those girls was Emma Benton.

Individually, the senior placed third in the girl’s 300-meter hurdles and fifth in the girl’s 100-meter hurdles (a WCCA record).

She also helped the girl’s 400-meter relay team place fourth, and the girl’s 800-meter relay finish second.

“She was always 100 percent wide open at practice,” WCCA track coach Mike McGraw said. “She led the rest of (the team) by example and gave everything she had at practice and even more than she had sometimes if she wasn’t feeling well at a meet.”

For the Rams, it’s been a long road to taking home the silver medal. In order to qualify for the state meet the teams had to finish in the top-four in their respective districts, then in the top-four in their regions.

“On our team it took a lot of dedication, especially from the distance runners,” McGraw said. “They’d run, cry, throw-up and run some more.

“Track practice is not usually fun unless you’re a field event person.”

All in all, WCCA participated in seven meets.

Perhaps the most intriguing event of the afternoon for the Rams’ was the mile relay race.

“You can live a long time and not see a better relay than that,” McGraw said of WCCA’s lone first-place finish. “We won by inches.”

In order for fill out his long-distance relay teams, McGraw said he had to make some difficult decisions.

“Some of the hard things I had to do was convince a couple of sprinters they needed to run distance,” McGraw said with a laugh. “The girls were really good about doing what I asked them to do.”