(Pictured above) Jaicy Griffin, Garrett Wilson, Jake Smith, and Blayne Bryant complete the 4x400m relay at the Mansfield hosted Tiger Relays.
It was wet and windy. There was even a moment of sun. A wide range of temperatures and conditions greeted teams as they made the move to run at Mansfield’s rescheduled Senior Tiger Relays on April 3.
Originally scheduled for March 27, Mansfield had to postpone it’s 14th annual home grown track meet because of severe weather in the area. Effected were 24 high schools that had to review their own agendas and make the decision to come back one week later.
Sixteen programs were able to give it a go as the senior high Tigers played host to the long standing local meet seven days late. The conditions were better this time around but less than ideal.
Approximately one hour before teams arrived on that Tuesday, a hefty wind storm coupled with drizzly rain hit the stadium. Tents were trashed, pit covers ballooned, and trash cans tumbled. However, before the first bus pulled the parking brake and dropped off its athletes, the sun was sneaking a peek over the west side of the stadium. The rain had stopped and the meet was on go.
Both Mansfield’s men and women had their moments. As a collection, each squad finished in fifth in their respective team divisions.
Tiger Sophomore Jaicy Griffin continued to assault the state standards. He had been close to the 100m and 200m dash benchmarks in previous meets. At home, he was close again. Less than perfect conditions however slowed his pace leaving him still in search of an early invitation to state.
Mansfield’s fastest track athlete did post a 12.23 in the 100m and 24.89 in the 200m races. Stiff competition from Waldron, Booneville, and Clarksville pushed his final finishes to fifth and fourth respectively in those two sprints.
It was at the long jump pit that Griffin had his best outcome of the evening. An 18’ 8” leap into the sand put him into first place by an inch and one half. Later, Griffin anchored two relays that crossed at third and fourth giving the Tiger enough points to finish among the top three high point placers.
Teammate Devon Pyles totaled 16 points himself through three individual events. The senior distance runner, who set two personal records last week at Alma, scored in the 1600m, 800m, and 3200m runs.
Pyles was third in the mile equivalent at 5:21.33. Next, the two lap 800m race placed him another third with a 2:26.93 measure. Finally, he went 12:28.82 across the eight lap 3200m race for fifth.
Megan Rose from the MHS women’s team continued to lead that squad. The senior posted 18 points with three individual places.
In the 1600m run, Rose was fifth at 6:26.97. After the 800m distance, she was third at 2:56.44. Finally, Rose navigated a busy field in the 3200m run with a second place 13:46.41 mark.
The Tiger women had their only blue ribbon performance with a winning 4x400m relay team. Addison Goetz, Alyssa Berry, Lennon Woods, and Delilah McKusker joined for the win.
The first three legs on the concluding relay saw Mansfield runners complete their individual sections in near identical times. McKusker, the fourth and final runner, was pursued intently by the Waldron anchor. Because of the chase, McKusker shifted into a slightly faster gear to bring home the Lady Tiger victory.
Immediately after the women’s relay, the Tiger men responded with a solid 4x400m relay as well. The collection of Garett Wilson, Jake Smith, Blayne Bryant, and Griffin took third overall with a 4:08.84 combined time.
Wilson, Bryant, and Griffin passed the stick in an earlier relay as well. The three sprinters completed 75% of the one lap cooperative.
The fourth member of the partnership was Will Meadows. With his far side straightaway sprint, the full team finished fourth in the 4x100m linkage in 48.11 seconds.
Meadows was likewise in fourth in the pole vault at 8’ 0”. Teammate Bryant cleared 7’ 0” in the same event after learning to vault just a few days earlier.
Haylee Buckner off the women’s team scored in a vertical leap as well. The junior cleared 4’ 6” in the high jump to take second.
Mansfield’s next best production came from McKusker who toppled the 300m hurdles in 58.16. She was third.
Janna Coplin, Miracle Pettigrew, Kara Sweeten, and Corrina Wesley all scored for the Mansfield girls.