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Track Tigers romp to relays crown

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
T.R. Miller proved to be a rude host, as it began defense of its back-to-back outdoor state track championships with a dominating performance at Friday's TRM Relays.
The Tigers won eight of nine events to outdistance runner-up W.S. Neal by 32 points (70-38). Monroe County took third with 34 points followed by Central of Allentown (Fla.) in fourth at 30 and Escambia County in fifth place with four.
W.S. Neal, in particular Ray Dunn, prevented a clean sweep by the Tigers with a stunning comeback in the distance medley.
Dunn and the Blue Eagles were a distant third place when he took the baton after earlier legs by Ben Salter, Dewayne Floyd and Keith Weaver. Dunn overcame a deficit of better than 200 meters, as W.S. Neal finished with a winning time of 13:09, two seconds better than T.R. Miller's 13:11.
The Tigers won all four field events. Justin Gomez (37-3 1/2), Nykeem Barton (37-3) and Julius Harris (37-0) teamed up to win the shot put relay at 111-6 1/2.
It was same victorious trio for T.R. Miller in the discus, as Gomez (115-3), Harris (106-10) and Barton (101-8) had a
combined first place mark of 323-9.
The Tigers long jump trio of Gerald Banton (18-5), Terrelle Brooks (18-3) and Damien Jackson (18-2) took the long jump relay at 54-10. Jackson (41-9), Banton (38-2) and Briddell Jones (34-8) claimed the triple jump title at 114-7.
The Tigers 400 meter relay team of Travis Holland, Javaris Drakeford, Jackson and Rodney Lane won their race with a time of 44.6.
T.R. Miller's 1600 meter relay team of Lane, James Hildreth, Drakeford and Banton took top honors at 3:41.
In the 3200 meter relay, Michael Hunt, Laine Lucas, James McCracken and Kelly Stallworth crossed the finish line in first place at 9:48.
T.R. Miller's sprint medley relay team of Drakeford, Lane, Hildreth and Chris Byrd won their race at 3:58.
W.S. Neal had two second place finishes that helped secure its second place team finish.
The Blue Eagles were runner-up in the discus relay at 320-9 1/2 with the team of Joe Bailey (136-1), Jeremy Brazile (98-5) and Shaunathan Williams (86-3 1/2).
W.S. Neal also took second place in the 400 meter relay with a time of 45.88.
Central won the girls meet with 64 points, while Escambia Coutny was second at 28. Monroe County took third at 20.
W.S. Neal did not have enough girls to compete in the relay format and T.R. Miller opted not to compete in the girls division.
T.R. Miller's next action is March 22 at Central. W.S. Neal is off until March 24 when it returns to Brewton.