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Oxford and Lafayette runners bring home hardware from State Championships

The Oxford and Lafayette track teams competed in the MHSAA Track Championships over the past weekend. Lafayette competed in the 5A championships on Friday with Oxford competing Monday in the weather-delayed 6A championships in Pearl.

The Lafayette girls finished No. 9 in the state with 40 points while the boys finished in a tie for No. 11 with 24 points. Long Beach won the girls title and Hattiesburg took the boys.

Individually, the Commodores produced three silver medalists and two bronze medalists on the day. The distance events proved to be rather fruitful for Lafayette.

Bralen Williams took second place in the boys 800-meter run with a new personal record of 2:03.28. Only a freshman, Williams has a bright future on the track for the Commodores – he also took fourth in the pole vault. Mia Dawson finished second place in the girls 3200-meter run, also sporting a new personal record with 12:15.05. She also finished fourth in the 1600-meter.

Lafayette’s final silver medal came from senior Mariah Holland. Earning silver this year with her 35-foot throw, it’s the third year in a row for Holland to medal in the event.

As for the two Commodore bronze medalists, both came in the longer hurdles. Both Breanna Holland and Michael Mathis finished third in the 300-meter hurdles for the girls and boys, respectively, both setting new personal records along the way. A junior, Holland also finished sixth in the 100-meter hurdles. For Mathis, it’s his second year in a role medaling in the 300-meter hurdles.

The only local gold medal on the weekend went to Oxford’s Ashley Epps in the 300-meter hurdles. Also the favorite in the 100-meter hurdles, she was leading Jerricka Ambus of Brandon about halfway through the race before being involved in a collision involving several runners. Epps would get up to finish seventh in the 100-meter hurdles.

Thankfully, Ashley Epps would get her payback later in the day. Epps won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.66, the only gold medal on the day.

As a team, the Oxford girls finished tenth with 28 points. The boys finished seventh with 39 points. Clinton won the state championship for the girls with 98.5 points and Pearl won the boys with 98 points.

Walt Johnson finished second for the Chargers in the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:03.77. He also finished eighth in the 1600-meter.