KCHS finishes second in MHSAA 2A State Track Meet


PEARL – Kemper County came oh so close to a state champi­onship in track. The boys team was runners-up in 2A with 74 points, four points behind Amite County in the meet last Saturday at Pearl High School.

At the South State meet a week earlier, Kemper County finished 23 points behind Amite County.

“I’m very thankful that this is the closest we ever came to winning the entire state,” said coach Keith Cole. “I’m thankful for that, but it hurts that we only lost by four points.”

The difference between second place and sharing the champi­onship was just over a second combined in two races.

Kemper County led the 3200 relay the whole way until the Wildcats were passed in the final 15 yards by Kamzja Wanamaker of Heidelberg. Kemper County's time of 8:49.35 was nearly four seconds better than the Wildcats' winning time at the South State meet a week earlier, but Heidel­berg improved by more than 26 and a half seconds to win in 8:48.27.

The 200 was even closer. Kem­per County's Jamari Scott fin­ished second in 22.66, inches behind Damian Spencer of Collins with a clocking of 22.63.

The difference between 20 points for two first place finishes and 16 for two seconds was the difference between sharing the championship and finishing sec­ond.

Cole mentioned two other events where the team did not do as well as anticipated. Handi­capped by a hip pointer, William Brown was eighth (last) in the 1600. If he had turned in the same time as at the South State meet, he would have finished third, a difference of five points.

In the 800, Sha'kenye Darden was first, his twin brother Sha’kanye Darden fourth and Benquez Win­ston seventh.

The Wildcats won the 1600 relay with a team of Sha’kenye Darden, Ezekial Smoot, Semaji Ray and Aaron Steele. Steele was third in 100 and 200, An­thony Reed finished fourth in 3200, Smoot was fourth in the 400 and the 800 relay was second, a second and a half behind Amite County.

The Kemper County girls finished fourth with 51 points, trailing Puckett 82, Charleston 77 and Myrtle 60. The Lady Wildcats fin­ished behind Heidelberg and East Marion at South State, but was ahead of those teams at the state meet.

Bry'Nesha Bourrage was second in the 200, fourth in the 400 and anchored the winning 800 relay team, joined by Kaylan Clayton, Jushaunti Boussage and Zariah Moss. Clayton took third in 100 and the 200 and Moss finished third in 400.

“It will be a long time be­fore Kemper County has two teams like this,” Cole said.

Neither Kemper County team won any points in the field events which Cole at­tributed to a lack of facili­ties at the school. “If you don’t have a long jump pit or a pole vault, you are at a disadvantage.”

Amite County boys had 10 points in field events.

Other team winners in two days of competition were Clinton in 6A boys and girls, Brookhaven in 5A boys and girls, Senatobia in 4A boys, Pontotoc in 4A girls, Tylertown in 3A boys, Alcorn Central in 3A girls, Tupelo Christian in 1A boys and French Camp in 1A girls.

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