West Harrison girls track coach Carlton Cotten knows plenty about winning championships. He was a standout fullback on D’Iberville High’s Class 4A state football championship team in 2002.
Cotten hopes to lead his girls track team to win the Class 5A state championship Friday.
The 1A, 3A and 5A championships will run Friday at Woody Barnett Track in Pearl. The 2A, 4A and 6A championships will run Saturday.
West Harrison, which edged Hattiesburg for the 5A South State championship last week, has plenty of versatile performers. Deniyah Downs will compete for the high jump and the triple jump crowns. Alaziah Turner could win the 400-meter dash. Alexis Morris has a chance to win the discus crown.
“We’ve got a shot at winning the state championship,” Cotten said. “The main thing is staying focused and taking advantage of our opportunities. I’m impressed with the players’ commitment level. They’ve worked hard.”
Pearl is considered a favorite to sweep the 6A titles, but the Biloxi boys and Ocean Springs girls each have a shot. The Indians are led by 6A South state long jump and triple jump champion Deshaun Morgan. The Lady Greyhounds are led by South state champion Roslyn Inabinette in the girls pole vault.
Vancleave has the all-around performers to make a run at the 4A state title. The Bulldogs recently won their first 4A South state crown. South state individual champions Jake Goff (400-meter dash) and Garrett Jacobs (800-meter run) lead the Bulldogs.
“We have a group of guys that work hard every day and their main objective is to win,” Bulldogs coach Robert Johnson said.
In girls 4A, Vancleave’s Lina May is considered a favorite to win the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Vancleave’s Amy Warren won the triple jump.
In girls 3A, Isabel Leatherman of St. Patrick has a shot at winning the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs like she did at South state last week. Kendall Pitre has a shot at the 3A pole vault title for St. Patrick as she did at South State.
In girls 2A, OLA’s Rylie Moore has a shot at winning the 800-meter run title. Grace Bradford has a chance at the pole vault crown for the Lady Crescents. They were both first at South state last week.
State Track meet
When: 1A, 3A, 5A Friday; 2A, 4A, 6A Saturday, 11 a.m. both days.
Where: Woody Barnett Track, Pearl