BLOG: PEARL — Oxford coach Jamie Perkins is getting used to being on top in the world of girls track. Led by another all-around outstanding performance from a bevy of girls, the Oxford High girls track team won a second MHSAA Class 5A state track title on Friday evening.The Lady Chargers led the meet held at Pearl High from start to finish as they totaled 99 points to capture a second straight title and fourth team title in as many weeks. A week after securing the program’s first North Half championship at Oxford’s Bobby Holcomb Field, the Lady Chargers shined even brighter on the state’s biggest track stage.
“We’re very fortunate. It was pure heart. They wanted it. It’s pretty awesome to get 99 (points) and go back-to-back. When the chips are on the table, these girls are going to show up because they want it and we try to make it as fun as possible,” Perkins said. “Coach Patton does an awesome job with my jumpers and relays. Coach Kendricks does an awesome job with his knowledge, his expertise. It’s a whole group effort.”
Perkins said it was sweeter to have won the second title in 2011 compared to the first title in 2010 simply because everyone was rooting against his team.
“It is because we’ve got a target on our back and everyone is gunning for us, everyone wants us to do bad, especially Pearl. Every girl on our team runs hard,” Perkins said. “We came out of the gate well and the biggest thing about this group is they want it. It’s not just one or two, everybody wants it. They were talking to each other under the tent about bringing it and wanting it. Every point counts today and they took their whole game to a new level.”
Oxford led Pearl by seven points (89-82) heading into the final race of the meet, the 4×400 meter relay. The Lady Chargers took first in the event by finishing with a season-high time of 4 minutes, 04.92 seconds to leave no doubt about the final point differential over their biggest competitors.
Junior Erika Sisk started the race that was ended by Mary Helen Rychlak and included senior Ann Crabtree and first-time runner, Ann Houston. Sisk, who ran with both of her legs heavily taped after suffering pulled quadriceps in the North Half meet, started the race by running the first 400 in 57.5 seconds.
“We knew it was going to come down the 4×400 in order to win. Coach said ‘Erika, we need you. You ran a 1:01 (in the 400) crippled, so you can do it.’ When he said that I just got focused and I ran the best time I ever ran in my life,” Sisk said. ”I wasn’t thinking about the injuries, I was just doing it for the team. I’m competitive and I love to run. I did what I had to do for my team and for me.” (May 13, 2011)