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BI track hoping for clear weather

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POSTED: March 9, 2007 5:11 a.m.
Let’s try it again. Last Thursday’s home opener for Bradwell Institute’s track team was cancelled because of rain, so the Tiger coaches and athletes hope the rain holds off tomorrow when McIntosh County Academy and Long County come to Hinesville for a 4 p.m. track meet.
Thursday’s weather forecast is partly cloudy with little chance of rain.
BI girls coach Readie Kelly said a lot of questions would be answered at the first meet.
“I’m excited and I will have a better idea of what we can do and what we cannot do after watching them against competition,” she said. “We’re ready to do whatever we have to do. Our main focus is to run, jump and throw to the best of our ability.”
The defending Region 3-AAAAA champion Lady Tigers return only two athletes who advanced to state in Jammie McLemore and Jasmine Amiker. The two were part of the 1600 relay team that finished second in state.
As far as the team’s strengths, Kelly said she would have a better gauge of where the team is after their first meet.
“Me looking at it in practice and seeing it in competition are two different things,” she said.
The 22-year track coach said the team must work hard to be successful this season.
“They are training and having fun in the midst of training,” Kelly said. “But at the same time, they are working hard.”
Meanwhile, boys coach Emmet Watkins also is excited about Thursday’s meet.
“I’m excited. I don’t know if they (Tiger runners) are excited,” he said. “It’s hard being consistent with them. We have one or two that have a whole lot going on but they have to lock themselves in to what they’re doing. If we do that, then we’ll be fine.”
Last year’s region runner-ups return three 2006 state-qualifying athletes in Larry Henry, Richard Hobbs, Vontavious Pennyman and Darrell Webb.
Last year, Henry won the region’s high jump and placed third in the state. Hobbs won three region titles - 110 hurdles, 300 hurdles and a member on the 1600 relay team. He also placed third in the state in the hurdles.
Pennyman and Webb also were on the region-winning 1600 relay team.
“We are hoping to get them to maximize their potential and get the other guys to step up,” Watkins said. “We’ve got some young kids who have to pick it up.”
Watkins wants to use Thursday’s meet as a gauge to determine his team’s strengths and weaknesses.
“I want to see what kind of times we post and how we need to improve,” he said. “This will give us a starting point because we haven’t ran yet. After Thursday, we will know what we need to work on and what needs to get better.”
The Tiger runners won’t have much time to recover as they hit the road early Saturday for an 8 a.m. track meet at Camden County.
 

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