LONG BEACH -- Pearl High School swept the Class 6A boys and girls titles at the South State track and field meet which concluded Tuesday at Lumpkin-Magee Stadium.
Natchez won the Class 5A girls South State title with 129 points, holding off second-place Long Beach which amassed 104 points. Natchez also won the South State 5A boys title with 128 points.
Only three events were run on Tuesday to complete the meet, which began on Saturday.
Long Beach won the 1,600-meter relay to conclude the 5A meet, with Destiny Pickens anchoring the quartet which included Nicole Brock, Anastasia Thibodeaux and Tatiana Burge. Pickens and teammate Allanah Turner went 2-3 in the 200 dash, which was won by Natchez's Ernesha Chatman in a time of 25.74 seconds.
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That finish was encouraging to Long Beach coach Olan Welch for Saturday's upcoming 5A State Meet at Pearl.
The 5A, 3A, 1A state meets will held Saturday at Pearl while the 2A, 4A and 6A meets are Friday at Pearl.
"I'm taking 18 girls up to the state meet," Welch said. "Congratulations to Natchez, but I've seen South State and State reverse order so it is still possible for us to contend for a state championship. At the South State meet it is all about quantity, and at the state meet it is all about quality. We have hopes of another state championship for Long Beach. "
Biloxi boys track coach Michael Reese was excited about his team's third-place finish at the 6A South State meet. Pearl had 117.33 points to win the meet, followed by Brandon (94.33) and Biloxi (82).
Gulfport was fifth with 65.50 points after finishing second in the 1,600-meter relay. St. Martin was seventh with 49 points and Ocean Springs eighth with 45.33
"I'm real pleased with the effort of the guys, they've worked real hard," Reese said. "My guys have not given one inch and have fought."
The complete 6A girls scores were Pearl 188, Meridian 88, Ocean Springs 84.50, Brandon 73.50,
Biloxi 51, Terry 50, Jim Hill 42, Gulfport 41, Harrison Central 26, D'Iberville 21, Forest Hill 12 and Hancock 7.
The Gulfport 1,600-meter girls relay team of Tori Powell, Ayianna Schaub, Alexandra Woodberry and Teri Woodberry finished third Tuesday behind Pearl. The Gulfport boys 1,600-meter relay team finished second behind Pearl.
The complete 5A girls scores were Natchez 129, Long Beach 104, West Jones 91, Hattiesburg 86.50, Brookhaven 78, West Harrison 69, Laurel 49, Pascagoula 43, Gautier 29.50, Picayune 10, South Jones 6, and Pearl River Central 5.
The top ten in the 5A boys meet included Natchez 128, Brookhaven 105, Laurel 79, Hattiesburg 70, West Harrison 64, Long Beach 63, Gautier 54, West Jones 52, Pascagoula 34 and Picayune 32.