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One year ago at the Class A state track championships, East Oktibbeha's Arthur Gillespie stood on a podium at Pearl High School awaiting his name to be called after finishing in the top spot of the 110-meter hurdles.
"That was the first time that we had a medal winner at our school," recalled East Oktibbeha track coach Randy Brooks. "(Gillespie) was saying earlier this week how he remembered (the announcer) not saying the name of our school right, but (Gillespie) was saying when he got down off the medal stand, he went and found that guy and told him we are East Oktibbeha."
Just in case those in charge at Pearl need any reminders, the Titans and Lady Titans are back in town today for the 2011 state track meet, hoping to again bring home hardware to Crawford.
Seven of Brooks' boys and six girls are qualified for the event including all of East Oktibbeha's boys and girls relay teams.
Individually, the Lady Titans will be represented today by Chaurieal Jenkins in the 3,200-meter run, Shaniqua James in the long jump and Marjada Tucker in the 300-meter hurdles.
On the boys' side, Marlon Fair will participate in the triple-jump, John Outlaw will run in the 3,200-meter and 800-meter events, and Terrence Rice will run the 400-meter dash.
With 13 total athletes qualified for today's activities, it has been a special season for the East Oktibbeha track program.
Brooks hopes it becomes even more memorable today.
"The guys, they have had the taste of success in the past," said Brooks. "They are passing that on to the girls."
Last year, East Oktibbeha didn't even have a girls track team. Now, the Lady Titans are making a case that they could be a force to be reckoned with for a while.
"We don't have any girls that are seniors," said Brooks. "Next year, my goal is to get some younger athletes out and build some depth for both the boys and girls."
Before then, however, members of Brooks' current squads hope to be able to stand atop a podium, have their names called and further prove the development of the East Oktibbeha track program.
Today's events begin at 1 p.m.