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Picayune’s boys track program starts its season

Picayune’s Maroon Tide track team, comprised of athletes from other sports, are ready to compete in track and field events.

Students who were interested in joining the program attended tryouts the last week of January and the first workouts of the season began the first week of February.

Head Coach Adam Feeley said the program has a number of returning athletes, so there’s a possibility for several of them to make it to the state finals.

“We have a lot of guys coming back, so our experience is something that’s going to be a positive for us,” Feeley said.

Picayune had its first competitive meet March 5 when the Maroon Tide traveled to Long Beach for the Olan Welch Invitational.

Picayune bested its competition in several events that day.

Senior Cameron Thomas won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.52 seconds.

Senior Mason Watkins won the 3200-meter run with a time of 10:48.07, the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:01.20 and the 800-meter run with a time of 2:11.15.

The 4X100 relay team, which consists of Cameron Thomas, Jashawn Lee, Amari Johnson and Leonard Taylor came in first place with a time of 44.95 seconds.

Senior Jalen Hall won the long jump event with a final result of 19 feet three inches.

Overall the team placed third out of 14 teams.

Picayune missed out on second place by half a point, so Feeley is hoping his field events can earn some more points in future meets.

“I’m expecting more to come out of our field events and score more points that way as far as team total points. Then we can start winning some meets as an overall team,” Feeley said.

Feeley said the team earned points from every event except for shot put and discus, so those two events will be areas of focus during the squad’s practices.

Feeley plans to have his athletes continue to work in other events because even though the team performed well there’s always room for improvement.

“This week we’ve been working on relay exchanges. Our time can get better off those exchanges,” Feeley said.

Picayune’s next meet will take place March 12 at the Gaston Hewes Relays in Gulfport where the Maroon Tide will be competing against some 6A programs.

These early season meets are in preparation for regionals, which is when athletes can start qualifying for district, south state and state meets.

At the regional meets, which start in April, only the top four athletes in each event will advance.

That means getting in experience now may pay dividends when the pressure is on later in the season as the athletes try to advance.