Nine first-place finishes propelled the Oxford Middle School boys track team to a team victory in the Pontotoc Invitational Tuesday. The Chargers finished with 219 points, with seven of the nine first-place finishes coming in the second half of the meet in running events.
Kyle Rock won the 3,200 meter run, Charles Pegues won the 1,600, D.T. Thompson won the 400, Ferron Houston won the 300 hurdles, Alex Thomas won the 800, while Oxford won all three of the relay races. Making up the 4×100 team were Key McQuirt, Tias Hilliard, Kenzie Phillips and Carey Carothers. Thompson, Hilliard, Phillips and D.K. Metcalf made up the 4×200 team, while the 4×400 team was composed by Hilliard, Pegues, Thomas and Kylon Jones.
“We were a little shaky in the relays last week and on Monday, we didn’t practice long, but we practice exclusively on handoffs for our sprinters,” OMS boys coach Mike Hardwick said. “It really made a difference today. We were much crisper in the exchanges. All of the credit in the relays goes to Coach (Chris) Patton who is our assistant coach this year. We are also strong in the jumps, which is also an area where he trains our athletes.”
Oxford also had two other relay teams finish fifth in the 4×100 and 4×200. Quay Quarles, Kylin Jones, Josh Patton and Tae Reed made up the 4×100 team, while Jordan Carothers, Jones, Jode Flowers and A.J. Gable made up the 4×200 team. The 4×400 team of Kyle Rock, Jonathon Tyler, Ferris Fischer and Jay Campbell finished fourth in the 4×400 relay.
Metcalf finished first in the triple jump and fourth in the high jump, while Hilliard was first in the long jump. Carothers was third in the triple jump and third in the high jump, Thomas Allen was third in the discus, Phillips was third in the long jump.
Pegues was second in the 3,200, Phillips finished second in the 100, Metcalf was second in the 110 hurdles, James Burnett finished second in the 800, Allen was third in the 300 hurdles, David Chang was third in the 1,600, Houston was fifth in the 110 hurdles, while A.J. Gable was fifth in the 200.
Oxford also fared well in the B races that were held Tuesday. Quarles was first in the 100 and 400. Cope Duchaine was first in the 800 and was followed in order by teammates John Zuniga, Tyler, Ernie Abernathy, Manuel Campos and Fischer. Johnathon Tyler finished second in the 3,200, Tae Reed was second in the 100, Jacob Hill was fifth in the 300 hurdles.
“We won seven of the last eight races and we ended up winning by a comfortable margin in a meet we were neck and neck over the first half,” Hardwick said. “A lot of credit goes to our guys for really focusing in the last half.”
Oxford returns to action in the OMS Relays at Oxford High’s Bobby Holcomb Field April 10 at 2:30 p.m. (April 4, 2012, Page 4B)