Cougar tracksters medal at state 5/14/13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cougar tracksters medal at state

By Myra Bean
Track may not be the dominant sport in Panola County, but North Panola made it competitive this year.

Nine Cougar tracksters just returned from their first appearance in the state track meet at Pearl High School complex on Saturday.

Track teams from 1A, 3A and 5A competed. Teams from 2A, 4A and 6A finished the state meet yesterday.

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North Panola brought home two second place finishes.

“It was a good day overall,” said head coach Derek King. “The silver medals were great for the kids. I am really proud of them.”

Senior April Pope capped her stellar season with a second place in discus throw with a distance of 92’10”.  She beat her qualifying throw of 91’2”.

Pope placed in every meet in discus except the Ole Miss Invitational. She won the district, got second at regionals and third at north state.

The boys 4×100-meter relay team turned up in the heat and ran a 43.93 for second place. Senior Jamal Mangrum anchored the team and raced for all he was worth to bring home the silver.

“Jamal saved us the last three weeks on that final leg,” King said. “He turned it on on that straight way and came from fourth place. He had some distance to make up.”
Joining Mangrum were freshman Justin Conner, eighth grader Randy Harrell and sophomore Darius Thomas.

The 4×100 meter relay team won district, and placed fourth in the regionals and north state.

Though they did not place, four other North Panola students made it to the state meet.

“After the sting of losing, they realized they were in the top eight in the state,” King said. “The kids who really stuck with the program, benefitted from it.

Junior Clarissa Jones threw 30’9” in shot put.

“She was so disappointed because she had thrown well all week,” King said. “She does have another chance next year.”

Senior Kelvin Covington threw 40’7.25” in shot put.

“He was the one that I felt the worst for,” King said. “I don’t know what happened. His competition was tough.”

In the high jump, Ja’Anthony Wright matched his highest jump of 6’0”. In the long jump, Darius Thomas jumped 20’5.5” to beat his qualifying distance of 18’8”.

Wright just missed the medal round in the 300 meter hurdles as he shaved  .88 seconds off his qualifying time and ran it in 41.92 for fourth place. His qualifying time was 42.83.
Sophomore DaVonte Brassell ran the 300 meter hurdles in 45.07 and had a triple jump distance of 39’2.5”. He beat his qualifying jump distance by one and a half inches.

Brassell did not play any sports before starting workouts with the football and track teams in November, according to King. He excelled in the 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump through the preliminary rounds.

In the district, Brassell placed fourth in hurdles and second in triple jump.  At the regionals, he was third in triple jump and fourth in hurdles. He placed third in both events at north state.