Track Tigers aim for state championship repeat
Published 10:06 am Monday, March 12, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Many might say there is only one direction Eddie Brundidge can go after he won a state championship in his first year as the T.R. Miller Tigers track coach.
There are actually two directions. The Tigers can repeat or not repeat.
The thoroughbred Brundidge referred to was Antonio Gomez, who won four events (long jump, triple jump, 110 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles) and set a state record in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
The Tigers have some building blocks in their attempt to build their title defense. They return four individuals who scored in last year's state meet. Junior Fred Samuel was second in the shot put, senior Justin Gomez was seventh in the discus, sophomore Matt Lane was seventh in the triple jump and senior Brandon Andrews was eighth in the 100-meter dash. A fifth returnee, senior Travis Holland, was on the 400-meter relay along with Andrews that finished second.
In addition to returning Andrews and Holland, two members who scored at last year's state meet, T.R. Miller's sprints contain sophomore Brandon Jackson. Jackson won the Class 1A-4A state indoor 55-meter dash last month. Senior Jamal Middleton and sophomores Bradley McCreary and Cortez Banks are also expected to make significant contributions.
Sophomore Geofry Youngblood could also be another key newcomer for T.R. Miller in the middle distance. Youngblood was a member of T.R. Miller's first place team in the 800-meter relay team and the 1600-meter relay team that finished fifth at the state indoor meet. Youngblood and McCreary, who was fourth at the state indoor meet in the 400 meters, should anchor the middle distance along with senior Kelly Stallworth, sophomore Cory Redfern, freshman Joe McCorvey, and eighth grader Dakota Schultz.
Youngblood could also see some time in the distance events along with junior Tyler Parker and freshman Brandon Nelson.
Sophomore Terez Lane and eighth grader Wil Riggs are the top candidates for the hurdles.
Samuel followed up his runner-up place in last spring's outdoor meet with a third place finish in the shot put at the state indoor last month. He and Justin Gomez should anchor the throws along with sophomore Mabry Cook and senior Jeremy Curry.
T.R. Miller does not have an abundance of experience with its jumping crew. Matt Lane, Terez Lane, McCorvey and junior Bud Smith are slated for the long jump and triple jump.
T.R. Miller's high jumpers will include junior David Payne, senior Terrelle Brooks, Middleton and sophomore Derrick Riley.
The Lady Tigers return two members who placed in last year's state meet. Sophomore Kesha Peterson was fourth in the triple jump. Junior Crystal Higdon was sixth in the 3200 meters and seventh in the 1600 meters.
Peterson and sophomore Ashley Williams were both state qualifiers in the sprints last year. Eighth grader Brittany Rush and senior Samantha Brown are also expected to contribute in that area.
While the T.R. Miller coach is still trying to determine his middle distance, Higdon is back to lead the distance.
Seventh grader Tikedra Taylor could make a quick impact in the hurdles.
The throwers have also yet to be determined although Williams and Peterson are expected to anchor the long and triple jump.
The T.R. Miller coach said his team's move to 4A should not have a huge impact on his team until the state meet.