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STRONG CHARGE: Oxford teams coast to division championships

Oxford’s track and field teams made easy work of the competition in the Division 2-5A meet Thursday at Bobby Holcomb Field, obliterating the field to claim the titles.

The Oxford boys took first place with 166 points while the girls tallied 171 points to take the title. The Chargers’ teams won by a combined 264.5 points with West Point’s boys being the closest runner-up with just 37.5 points.

“Overall it was a very good day,” Oxford coach Chris Bush said. “A few nagging injuries we had to tend to, but I think the athletes showed up and performed well. They executed like we wanted them to.”

Oxford’s boys won 16 of the 17 events, including all four team relays. The Chargers edged Grenada by less than four seconds in the 4×100 and kept their distance from West Point and Saltillo to win the 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800.

Jaquan Webb notched a pair of first-place finishes, blazing times of 10.7 and 21.57 seconds in the 100 and 200 meters, respectively. James Burnett took first in the 400 meters in 48.79 while Kenard Harris won the 800 meters with a time of 2:03.10. Jonathan Tyler ran in 4:46.99 and 10:29.19 to win the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, respectively.

D.K. Metcalf set a personal record of 14.83 to place first in the 110-meter hurdles, and Ken Presley took first in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 40.37.

In the field events, freshman Jackson Dear won the pole vault with a clearance of 9 feet, 6 inches. K.J. Gipson measured a distance of 21-5.75 to win his first-ever division long jump while Jacquez Neilson (45-8) and D.Q. Thomas (140-10) won the shot put and discus throw, respectively.

“(Gipson) has been with us all year, but he stayed hurt at the beginning of the year,” Bush said. “To see him come back, perform and find him a place on the team, that’s the philosophy of track. You come out and work, and usually track has something for everybody.”

Lady Chargers cruise
Oxford’s girls weren’t far behind, winning everything but two events.

Tiara King won the 100 meters in 12.63 while Kadijah Ramsey placed first in the 200 meters in 25.30. Jakiara Dunn took first in the 400 meters with a time of 1:01.03, and Swayze Elliott won the 800 meters in 2:35.22.

Freshman Addie Thompson won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters in 5:48.87 and 13:04.63, respectively, to highlight a strong day for some of the younger Chargers in the running events. Eighth-graders Lilly Grace Mitchell (third in 1,600) and Patricia Hughes (third in 3,200) also qualified for regionals while another freshman, Ashley Epps, won the 300-meter hurdles in 50.29.

Other first-place finishers for Oxford were Kathleen Patton (high jump), Charli Kendricks (pole vault), Bryanda Cannon (long jump and triple jump) and Monya Baskin (shot put). The Chargers also swept first place in the relays even without top sprinter Montayshia Wadley, who was nursing a hamstring injury, with a five-second win over West Point in the 4×100 being the closest finish.

“Overall, the girls bought in,” Oxford girls coach Chris Patton said. “When it was time, they stepped up. I’m just proud of them. Next week, we’re going to come back, take care of those injuries and improve on the performance that we had today.”

The top four finishers in each event qualified for the regional meet, which will be held April 23 at Bobby Holcomb Field beginning at 10 a.m.