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By DANNY P. SMITH
Managing the Starkville High School track team this season has been a team effort.
After the retirement of Cleveland Hudson last year, Chris Barnett was brought in and he's not alone.
Jarwarski Beckham has been working with the sprinters, while Kevin Heard, who performed collegiately at Southern Mississippi, instructs the jumps, Joe MacGown has been coaching the distance runners and Tate Fischer had been leading the junior high. Caroline Woomer is the girls coach and Tony Minor assists with the junior high girls.
"We're all in it together and all have our special areas of emphasis," Barnett said. "I supervise everything. Jarwarski knows what he's doing and I leave him alone. I'll critique things here or there, but it's good to have the help of people who love and understand track so you can leave them alone without having to follow behind them. Jarwarski and Kevin are doing a great job and we're making big strides."
Among the sprinters on the boys side are Julian Louis, Devin Mitchell, David Fair, Jonnell Ward, Davis Josey, Jalan Catledge, Qu'Various Robertson, Martavious Foster and Jacolby Smith, while Kamau Bostic, Kase Kingery, Damien Grady, Grant Woomer, Aaron Remotigue, Nathan Gaudin and Joseph MacGown are the distance runners. Charles Hughes and Hudson Woomer are the hurdlers, Gabriel Jordan is a high jumper, Raphael McClain is a long jumper and LeJames Houston is a triple jumper.
Performing the shot put are Foster, Marcus Tate and Jawan Jackson. Foster, Lee Edwards Jefferson, Josh Kitchens and Garrison Arinder toss the discus.
Janna Gandy, Camika Clark, Chellsey Lowery and Sequois Ellis are the sprinters for the Lady Jackets, while Mary Elizabeth Stringer, Walker Mattox and Shenika Townsel are the long distance runners. In field events, Jondia Weatherspoon and Deunna Rogers throw the discus and Rogers also tosses the shot put.
Starkville has been to four meets already this spring in Pearl, Paul Bryant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Homewood (Ala.) and Mississippi State. The Jackets are at Mississippi College this weekend and are getting ready for the division meet coming quickly at Tupelo.
"We're moving in the right direction," Barnett said. "We still have some things we'd like to critique, but as far as talent, it's there. I was looking at some of the teams like Clinton, Tupelo, Southaven and Brandon, and we're right there in the mix of being able to run for a state championship, but everything has got to go right and we've got to keep working. The teams that eventually get to the point to where they are state champions are the ones that continue to work all year."