SPORTS EDITOR BLOG — An inspirational finish in the 4×400 meter relay cemented the Oxford Lady Chargers’ first state track championship Friday at the Class 5A meet at Pearl High School.
The 4×400 team, which was composed of Erika Sisk, Kristen Dickerson, Ann Crabtree and Virginia Terry, finished their race in a school-record time of 4 minutes, 03.93 seconds. The victory gave them 89 team points and capped the most successful day on the track in school history for the OHS Lady Chargers, who had routinely finished in the top five of the final standings but were unable to capture a title until this year.
Pearl and McComb finished in a tie for second with 77 points at Friday’s meet despite leading OHS most of the afternoon. The Lady Chargers were in second to McComb by just a handful of points after 12 events, but they literally vaulted to the top when Crabtree and Mollie Beth Ott finished one and two in the pole vault. Their finishes garnered 18 points for the Lady Chargers, while a second-place finish by Sisk in the 400 meter dash and a fourth-place finish by Dickerson in the 300 hurdles pushed them into first place with one event to go. OHS led McComb 79-69 heading into the relay meaning all it had to do was finish to win the title.
The girls relay team, which was seeded No. 2 heading into the finals, made sure that they ended the meet in style by outdistancing McComb and Long Beach to capture an individual state championship.
“I really thought we had a chance to win it but we were behind, in second or third the whole day,” said Terry, who helped the OHS tennis team win a 5A state title on Monday in Ridgeland. “I knew we could do it, I didn’t think we would. It’s so special right now because I’ve never won anything other than a tennis state championship. This is has been the best week ever. It’s unbelievable.”
The Lady Chargers’ first title was the school’s eighth under coach Scott Kendricks, who helped guide the Chargers to five titles this past decade and two cross country titles overall.
Oxford’s boys also had a good meet Friday finishing in a tie for second with 70 points. Pearl won the state title with 117 points. The Chargers produced three individual state titles with Sam Kendricks winning the pole vault, Justin Fondren winning the high jump and Sam Moffett winning the 1,600.
A complete recap of Friday’s meet, complete with quotes from the athletes and coach Scott Kendricks, will be available in Monday’s EAGLE. (May 15, 2010)