Track and field season begins for Meridian High School
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Meridian High School track and field team was able to begin the 2021 season in the familiar confines of Ray Stadium.
On Monday, the Wildcats hosted four schools from around the state to kick off a new season of track and field. High schools that participated in the meet included Northeast and Southeast Lauderdale, Heidelberg and Wilkinson County. Meridian and Northeast Lauderdale’s middle school teams also partook in the meet.
It’s been almost a year since the Wildcats have competed in an outdoor meet. They were only able to finish two meets before the 2020 season was cut short by the coronavirus.
Meridian head track and field coach Regonal Walker said the team has been itching to get back outside and compete.
“I’m anxious, the kids are anxious and we’re just looking forward to showing what we can do,” Walker said. “We began preparing in December with indoor track but we were only able to compete in two meets in Birmingham due to COVID limitations.”
Walker said he was fine with his team only competing in two indoor meets because he wanted to limit them from possible coronavirus exposure.
Along with the outdoor track season, senior sprinter and jumper Christopher Johnson said the team put in a lot of hours of practice to prepare for Monday’s meet.
“We’ve been practicing through all types of weather including the rain and snow,” Johnson said. “We’ve just been working hard and training hard.”
Johnson won the boys triple jump and placed third behind teammates Daniel Hill and Taylon Edwards in the long jump. Meridian won overall for the boys teams, defeating second place Wilkinson County 232-99.5.
The weather could not have been more perfect for the start of the season. The sun was shining while mild winds added a nice breeze for competitors.
Junior sprinter Jada Portis said the forecast was a nice surprise because the Wildcats are used to beginning the season with bad weather.
“It’s amazing. It’s so warm out here and it makes you feel good inside when the weather is nice outside,” Portis said. “Usually it’s raining or cloudy so it’s really brightened us up.”
Portis took home individual wins in the 100-meter dash and the 200. Meridian won overall for girls teams, beating out second place Southeast Lauderdale 264-81.
Full team results from Monday’s season-opening meet can be found here.
Coach Walker said the best part of Monday’s season opener was being able to finally get back out on the track again after almost a year.
“I’m happy to be outside and involved again because we’ve been confined for so long,” Walker said. “To see the kids out participating, not just our kids but all the local kids get out and participate is just a joy.”
Meridian will host three more meets on March 1, 8 and 22. The Wildcats full 2021 schedule can be found here.
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