Thursday, April 28, 2005

Marshall tracksters advance to Overall

After facing their toughest competition of the year in last Saturday’s North Half track meet, three girls and one boy from the Marshall Academy track teams will advance to this week’s State Overall Track Championship in Jackson Friday and Saturday.

This year’s competition has been the toughest ever in this district, according to MA Headmaster Tommy Gunn, who also doubles as one of the track coaches.

“We are having to learn the difficult lesson of adjusting to this level of competition in all sports, but I do see us getting better and showing improvements,” Gunn said. “It is a building process and we must make sure our student athletes have the best teaching, training and coaching available.”

Gunn said Marshall is some two years away from having the kind of program he thinks is necessary to compete at this level year in and year out in all sports.

“Our district is easily considered the toughest in the state, and we must learn how important it is to compete in both the classroom and in the athletic arena,” he said.

Advancing to the Overall are seniors Tiffany Thomas in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:42.1 and Robby Autry in the triple jump with a jump of 39’6”. Underclassmen advancing to this week’s meet are sophomore Jessica Terrell in the high jump with a jump of 4’8” and double qualifier eighth grader Traci Rodgers in the 3200 meter run with a time of 13:26.1 and the 1600 meter run with a time of 6:36.2.

Also competing in the North Half meet last Saturday were junior Anne Bishop in the discus; the girls’ 1600 meter relay team of Mary Smith, Bronwyn McNeil, Rodgers and Thomas; Autry in the high jump; Jonathan Allen in the discus; Thomas Carlisle in the 300 meter hurdles; Josh Asplund in the 3200 meter run; and the boys’ 400, 800 and 1600 meter relay team of Carlisle, Jacob Asplund, Autry and Will Forester.

“We are working hard to establish a base on which to build our athletic program,” Gunn said. “The weight room and track are two areas vital to building an overall successful program. We must crawl before we walk, and that is the stage where we presently find ourselves.”

Gunn also reminds parents, grandparents and friends that the Athletic Banquet for 2004-05 will be Thursday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. at Northcentral Electric Power’s community center in Byhalia. The meal will be a potluck dinner, and all families are asked to bring their favorite dish and come out and enjoy the food and fellowship as MA closes out its year in athletics.

MA had four first-place finishers in the Division Meet at Lee Academy on Saturday, April 16.

Tiffany Thomas placed first in the 800m run; Traci Rodgers first in both the 1600m and 3200m runs; and Robby Autry first in high jump.

Other top finishes for the Patriots and Lady Patriots included:

  • Josh Asplund, second, 3200m run;
  • Robby Autry, second, triple jump;
  • Jonathan Allen, fourth, discus;
  • Anne Bishop, fourth, discus;
  • Jessica Terrell, third, high jump;
  • Thomas Carlisle, fourth, 300m hurdles;
  • Jacob Asplund, Robby Autry, Thomas Carlisle, Will Forester, third place, 1600 meter relay; fourth, 400 meter relay; and fourth, 800 meter relay.
  • Traci Rodgers, Chelsea Faulkenbery, Lauralee Fant, Mary Smith, fourth place, 1600m relay.

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