From press and staff reports
With a mixture of everything from depth in the field events to sprinters to a couple of distance runners, the Louisville high school track team is hoping for some good results, when the two-day District 4-4A track and field meet begins Tuesday afternoon, April 17, in Kosciusko. This past Thursday the Wildcats started their Easter holiday on a positive note with boys and girls finishing third and fourth respectfully amongst stiff 5A and 6A competition at The Canton Invitational, Canton, Ms. The Wildcats came in third last year and head coach M.C. Miller believes they could do even better this year. “We feel very good about our team,” Miller said. “We feel like we have the ability to score some points. We just need our kids to go out and compete and compete as hard as they can. I really believe if we can do that, we can hang in there with some very good teams.” Those “good teams” he was referring to were the rest of the 4-4A, which he says will be unbelievably tough. “Our district is just so competitive,” he said. “Noxubee is good. With the addition of Leake its going to be a little tougher. Caledonia has good athletes and a good program. Kosy has good athletes. And Houston will be tough. So our district is very tough. Noxubee will probably be favored because they have ran good times and are defending camps. I do think it just depends on how we compete and if we give our best. I think it’s wide open as far as who might win.” The top three finishers in each event automatically qualify for the Region meet set for the following week. Miller said the goal is to get as many kids and relays to the regional meet as possible. With no seniors and only three juniors between both boys and girls, Miller will rely on youth to pull off this feat. Junior Ty Carter won the triple jump event as a sophomore and Miller said he has been solid to this point, having went nearly 42 feet in the long jump. Fellow junior Raquel Graham has been a consistent fixture on both the 4×100 and 4×200 relays along with Carter, who anchors the 4×400, which Miller feels very good about. Those two along with last year freshman phenoms Jordan Murray and Desmond Goss, are looking for good legs in 4-x-100, 4-x-200, and 4×400 relays, which qualified for regionals last year and are hoping to make it to state this spring. Those two, paired along with freshman Demarcus Brooks and 7th grader, could make for the fastest relays Miller said the program has had in quite some time. “Those guys have ran very well,” Miller said. “Their times have come down all year and I think they’ve got a chance to drop their times a little more if they compete like I know they can. I think we’ve got a chance to do well in the relays. But we’re against some very competition, so we’ll need to run our best. But these four have not been running together so we just want to make sure we have no bad handoffs and we run our best.” Sophomores Lakendrick Vaughn Ty Hathorn and Daris Dora have ran really well in the open100, 200, and 400. All ran last year as a freshman and are running fast again this spring. Newcomers Sean Story and Shun Harris get the duty of running the 1,600 and 3,200-meter events, both have a chance to excel at the district meet. Louisville will take to the track with two hurdlers that are positioning themselves to pull off maybe the two biggest wins in individual races in the 110-meter and 300 meter hurdles. Junior Dominique Woodard and Sophomore Nick Shields have the challenge of defeating 2011’s 4A and 5A State runner ups, both hurdlers from Noxubee. The Wildcats also have a pair of throwers in each throwing event — sophomores Malik Slaughter and Jermarcus Woods, shot put and junior Jakode Miller and freshman Julius Love, discus — that have Miller thinking will be in the mix for medals. A pair of freshman Donte Jones and Gaberial Gale looks to do the jumping for the Wildcats. Jones and Gale best jump is right at 6 feet this season. Miller said he still didn’t think either had reach high potential with this being the first year they have high jumped. “We’re going to score some points, but in our district, anything can happen,” the coach said. “Anything can change. You might have an injury. You might have a kid just really dominate an event with his best on that day that you didn’t expect. I mean anything can happen with the athletes in our district. And we’ve seen everyone but Houston, so we know how good every body is. We just hope we can go out and do our best and get a bunch of kids to the regional meet. On the girls’ side, the Wildcats also have had a couple of standout athletes as well. Sophomores Marquesha Davis and Hailey Ingram have paired with 8th graders Shan Thames and April Miller look to exceed last year’s top ten finish (8th) in the state. Miller stated, “We lack a lot of depth and experience with the girls but they go out and give their all. This group has ran good times all season and will be tough competition once they gel.” The youth that Miller must rely on is mostly within the girls. Distance runner Alexus Poole, a 7th grader has made great strides in the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs, along with long jumper Danaisha Jones, an 8th grader whom has gotten to 14 ft with her jumps. Hurdler Aaliyah Haynes, 800-meter runner Leah Woods both 8th graders. Diamond Wraggs and Monifah Haynes are both do everything 7th graders. “It’s always good to start track with the young ones and let them grow into, but with the talent we have we can compete in the district and the state. I hope that we come to run at district and get Louisville track back rolling.” stated Miller.