The Gadsden-area More Than Runners track and field club competed in the state meet on June 18 and19 in Selma. The team, which competes in four age groups, qualified to for the regional meet held at Louisiana State University next month.
First place winners were Kenedy Wright in the 100 and 200-meter dashes; Christopher Miller and JaKodie Bogle in the javelin; Je’Vohnna Sears in the long jump; and Tamiyah Blount, Cemarea Scott, Ajainay Tinker and Kenedy Wright in the 4×100 relay.
Taking second place were Khamari Smith in the long jump; Ajainay Tinker in the long jump and 100-meter dash; Madison Tinker in the 100-meter dash; and Karlee Walker in the 800-meter run.
Third place finishers were JaKodie Bogle in the shot put, Mariah Ragland in the long jump, Je’Vohnna Sears in the 200-meter dash and Madison Tinker in the 200-meter dash.
Placing fourth were Christopher Miller in the 100-meter dash, Khamari Smith in the 200 and 400-meter dashes, Tamiyah Blount in the 200-meter dash and Karlee Walker in the 200-meter dash.
Coming in fifth were Christopher Miller in the 200-meter run and Je’Vohnna Sears in the 100-meter dash.
Sixth-place finishers were Tamiyah Blount in the 400-meter run and Mariah Ragland in the 200-meter run.
Cemarea Scott took seventh place in the 200-meter dash and eighth in the 400-meter dash, while Mariah Ragland came in ninth in the 100-meter dash.
Club coach Buddy Wright, who coaches boys basketball and track at Gaston High, noted that he started the club in order to provide a positive outlet for local youngsters.
“My daughters Kenedy and Cayia have been running since Cayia was in elementary school, and they have been blessed to have some success. I wanted to help push them and other kids to be the best they can be on and off the playing surface. Myself and coaches Tonya Bogle, Daryl Douthard and Ali Smith have kids or nieces on the team, so it really makes it personal for us. We named the club “More Than Runners” because we want to do more than just go run; we want to be the complete competitor. It’s not just about running; it’s about competing and winning in life as well.”
If the team qualifies at regionals, MTR will compete in the USATF National Meet in late July in Sacramento, Calif.
“Kenedy was ranked top 10 in the nation in the 100-meter dash, and she’s moved up to a older age bracket this year so we’re excited to see how she responds,” said Wright. “Khamiri was a member of the 4×400 relay team that finished fourth in the nation last summer in Jacksonville, and JaKodie is ranked top 10 in the nation in the javelin.
“So we have some kids that are going to do some great things and continue to make Gadsden the City of Champions.”