Natchez girls win track meet, boys suffer close loss

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2016

NATCHEZ — Thirteen boys and 14 girls on the Natchez High School track and field team qualified for regionals at a division meet Wednesday at Natchez High.

The Natchez girls won the meet overall against Brookhaven, 95-82. The boys came in second by a difference of just three points, falling to Brookhaven 80-77.

Wingfield entered just a boys team which scored 29 points.

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Natchez coach Larry Wesley said if more teams had entered, it might have taken enough points away from Brookhaven on the boys side to help Natchez edge out their region rival.

“It killed us not having more teams,” Wesley said. “It would have broken the scores up more.”

The Lady Bulldogs took the top two positions in two hurdle events, the long jump and were the only team to secure points in the pole vault, after Brookhaven’s three vaulters were disqualified. Natchez scored 29 points across those four events to Brookhaven’s nine, which gave the Lady Bulldogs a distinct advantage.

Shamarra Grover and Ernesha Chatman led the girls squad. Grover finished first in three events, and Chatman finished first in four events.

Chatman out-jumped her teammate by nearly two feet on the long jump, registering a length of 16 feet, 5.75 inches.

Wesley said he has come to expect good things from the field athletes on his team, but some good contributions from his sprinters were key on Wednesday to staying competitive.

“My field is my strong suit,” Wesley said. “But the runners were pretty decent today, also.”

The difference in the boys’ meet was so tight, a few seconds in a track event could have taken enough points away from Brookhaven and added to Natchez to give the Bulldogs the sweep.

The field events were not the boys’ strong suit, however. The Natchez boys failed to gain any points in shot put, while Brookhaven scored five, and Natchez scored two points to Brookhaven’s eight in the discus throw.

Still, Natchez’s squad has plenty to look forward to with 27 players qualifying for regionals, scheduled for 4 p.m. on April 22.

“Next week is going to be event more interesting,” Wesley said. “We’re going to see some good competition and a lot of great athletes.”