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Leadership evident for Jackets at track meet

March 25, 2012

Gabe Myles competes for the Yellowjackets in track on Saturday. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)

Gabe Myles showed his leadership on the gridiron, but it's the spring and he has taken those qualities to the track.

The Starkville High School track team competed at Mississippi State High School Invitational at the Maddox Track on Saturday.

Myles ran in the 4x100-meter relay and the 4x200-meter relay.

"He came out strong and showed some leadership qualities," SHS boys' head coach Chris Barnett said. "He is the last leg on the relays."

The last man on the relay team seems to be the most important because he is in charge of holding a sizable lead or making up ground.

Myles and his teammates placed seventh in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 44.17. They placed eighth in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:32.61.

Myles also played football for the Yellowjackets and used his speed at quarterback to get himself out of trouble.

"He ran the relays and we trusted him to guide the guys," Barnett said. "His leadership qualities have really shown. Gabe has looked really good this year."

After the meet, Barnett had time to collect his thoughts and gauge where his team was.

"Overall, we are not where we need to be, but we have to continue to win practice everyday," Barnett said. "We have to continue to keep getting better."

The boys finished the day in 13th place out of 30 schools.

The Jackets did not have to travel far to compete on Saturday. As for the facilities, Barnett was impressed.

"Being able to come to this facility is up there, as far as, some of the nicest tracks in the nation," Barnett said. "For our kids to be able to come and run on this particular track is a blessing for our kids."

For girls' head coach Caroline Woomer, the meet gave a lot parents, classmates and teachers the opportunity to see the athletes compete that may not have a chance.

"We had so many parents here that don't usually get to see the meets," Woomer said. "Teachers came to the meet. There was a whole teacher section."

On the girls side, 7th grader Kate Mattox brought the only first place win for either Jacket team.

She won the 1600-meter dash with a time of 5:34.85.

Mattox also competed in the 800-meter dash. She had never ran in that event before and got a pre-race strategy from Woomer.

"It was her first time on the 800-meter and she didn't know how to run that race at all," Woomer said. "She did and great job and she did what I asked her to do. I told her where to be in the first and second lap. She hit it. For her first time and a 7th grader, she did great."

Mattox placed sixth in the 800-meter dash. She lost a shoe early in the race and continued on.

Woomer was satisfied with the meet overall and thinks it is a great building block for the rest of the season.

"This is kind of like our first real full meet," Woomer said. "I felt like they did great. They are ready to progress. They don't feel down on themselves. They feel good about it."

The Lady Yellowjackets finished in 17th place out of 34 teams.

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