Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Wolf sprinter breaks record in 100 meters

Leader sports editor

The Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School tied for second place in the boys’ Class 1A state track meet at Genoa Central High School in Texarkana. Caddo Hills of Norman won the boys’ meet with 130 points while Lighthouse tied with a different Texarkana school, Trinity Christian, for second place with 72 points each.

JLCS coach Kelvin Parker felt like his team should’ve finished second all by itself.

The Wolves’ 4x100 relay team won by a large margin, and were then disqualified because two of its runners were wearing different colored tights.

“They came up to us after we won and showed us the rule book,” said Parker. “My thing is, we ran the prelims the same way, checked in for the finals and all that, and nobody said anything until after we won it. We won that race by five yards.”

It was no surprise that the Wolves would win the sprint relay. Junior Wolf Jordan McNair, who entered the race as the defending state champion, broke the Class 1A state record in winning it again with a time of 11:08. His teammate, Robert Whitfield, took second at 11:44. Those two also went first and second in the 200-meter dash. McNair finished in 23.22 and Whitfield in 23.91.

“Jordan still hasn’t run his best time in my opinion,” Parker said. “He hasn’t really been pushed yet. I think when he’s pushed he’s going to go faster. He got back to the Meet of Champs and I think he’ll do much better this time around.”

McNair had not lost a race last year before qualifying for the 2014 MOC, but finished way down the line against the competition from much bigger schools. Parker thinks he’ll do better this year.

“I think he’s going in with a lot more confidence this year,” Parker said. “Last year I think he was a little in shock at the MOC. I don’t think that’ll be the case this year. Plus I know he’s in much better shape. I don’t know if he’ll win it. There are some guys in the high classes that have all run below 11 seconds. I think Jordan is capable of that, so I think he can run right up there with the leaders.”

Chris Mims and Terrance Manuel joined McNair and Whitfield on the meet’s fastest 4x100 team. They finished in 44.84 seconds, a full second ahead of Caddo Hills.

Darin Burnett finished second for Lighthouse in the 300-meter hurdles behind Caddo Hills’ Christian Duggan. Whitfield placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles.

The Lighthouse 4x400 team finished eighth to pick up a point. It included Carl Hall, Eric Childs, Rashan Williams and Manuel.

McNair took third in the long jump with a leap of 20-feet, 5-inches, and was fifth in the triple jump, bounding 40-0.

The big surprise of the meet was Lighthouse freshman Joshua McNair winning the shot put with a toss of 43-06.

“That was a big shock,” Parker said. “We knew he was a strong kid and we thought he might go out there and get us some points. That’s just not an event that freshmen win.”

Abundant Life got all its points from middle distance runner Daniel Carrell. He won the 800-meter race over Hughes’ Martavious Johnson by almost two seconds with a time of 2:05.04. He also finished third in the mile behind Johnson and Southside-Bee Branches’ Donald Farley.

In the girls’ meet, Lighthouse’s Naje’ Harper took third in the 100-meter dash behind Paris Perkins of Hughes and Maggie Mahan of Nemo Vista. Mahan and Harper finished first and second in the preliminaries, ahead of Perkins, but Perkins shaved almost a full second off her preliminary time to break the Class 1A record with a time of 12.64 in the finals. Abundant Life’s Sydney Cossich finished seventh in that race. Cossich also took third in the 200-meter dash behind Perkins and Jessica Gangluff of Wonderview. Lady Wolfe Jayla Bobo finished fourth in the 200m.

The Lighthouse team of Harper, Bobo, Kaunecia McCoy and Racheal Johnson finished second in the 4x100-meter relay, less than a half-second behind Hughes.