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Picayune track sees multiple athletes place in first meet of the season

The Picayune Maroon Tide track team took part in its first meet of the season on Feb. 25, and had several athletes break the top three.

Picayune performed well both in the field and on the track.

Dante Dowdell and Jessiah Contee took first place and second place respectively in the long jump recording leaps of 18’10’’ and 18’2’’, while Keiwon Magee came in second in the discus throw by recording a 85’4’’ toss.

Jashawn Lee and Amari Johnson shared the podium in the 100-meter race by coming in first and second respectively (11.00,11.30).

Johnson also took first place in the 200-meter event with a time of 23.54.

Contee took first in the 400-meter race with a time of 55.48 while Carter Edwards came in third in the 1,600-meter race finishing in 5:55.

The 4×100 relay team (Tamauz Oatis, Johnson, Josh Tatum, Lee), 4×200 relay team (Oatis, Contee, Lee, Johnson) and 4×400 relay team (Chris Nixon, Christian Nixon, Robert Williams, Johnson) all came in first place as well recording times of 45.23, 1:53 and 4:05 respectively.

Head Coach Seth Hayden said prior to the meet the focus had been on the athletes’ endurance seeing as several of the runners were set to compete in multiple events.

“We were running more than usual and running long distances, even for our sprinters, to get the volume up and in shape for a track meet. They don’t realize how in shape they have to be, even as a sprinter, because if you run a 100-meter race all out you’re gassed. We tried to get as many miles under us as possible,” Hayden said.

The next meet isn’t until March 11, so Hayden has plenty of time to continue working on his athletes’ conditioning while touching up on specific techniques.

The level of competition will only increase as the season goes on and Picayune has state championship expectations so the athletes will have to continually improve.

Hayden is comfortable with where his track athletes are and what they can accomplish, so now the emphasis will turn to the field events where the Maroon Tide is hoping to make up some ground.

“We have to make up more points in the field events. I think we have talented kids who can do well, but we didn’t place in the shot put or triple jump. We have an experienced high jumper who is basketball player, so getting those guys coming back and improving field events will help. Keiwon did well in discus, but you want to have as many people place as possible to get a good team score,” Hayden said.