Clinton track & field preparing for title defense in state championship

The Lady Arrows have won nine-straight 6A state championships
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 9:05 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Saturday, the Clinton boys’ and girls’ track and field teams will work to defend their state titles.

The Lady Arrows are used to defending their title. If the Clinton girls win state this year, it will be their tenth-straight state championship.

“It’s amazing to be a part of history,” said senior thrower Kaitlyn Walker. “Of course, you know, we work really hard each and every day, so it’s just great to see the hard work pay off.”

Last year, the Lady Arrows won five gold medals, including Walker’s in discus, and several others medaled as the team scored 150 points, 76 more than second place Biloxi High School.

“Normally, there’s a target on our back, but we don’t feel it really, because we come out here each and every day, we know we’re the best, we train like we’re the best, we’re going to be the best,” Walker said.

With all that success, and the target that’s on the Arrows, it creates some pressure on the athletes, but ultimately gives them a lot of confidence.

“It feels good to know that we’re going to have pressure on us, but to know that we’ve got that target on our back,” said senior sprinter Zharia Bonner. “So, everybody’s going to be coming towards us, just to know that we’re kind of like the main focus.”

This year, the Arrows are competing in 28 different events across the boys’ and girls’ teams. The athletes say both talent and coaching are keys to their success.

“It’s combination of both,” said Tyler Nichols, the two-time defending high jump champion on the boys’ side. “Without the coaches, we wouldn’t have the talent. Without the talent, the coaches probably would have left, so we work together, collab together.”

The success of the girls’ team is something the boys want to emulate.

“It gives us motivation, gives us a boost,” Nichols said. “We want to do what the girls are doing now, want to create that run.”

Standing in the Arrows’ way of a repeat is Pearl, who won the 6A title in 2021. Nichols, and the rest of the Arrows, are ready and excited to defend their title.

“We compete [with Pearl] a lot during the year, it’s kind of like a rivalry, really,” he said. “It gives me motivation, makes me want to beat ‘em even more.”

The 6A State Championship will be held at Pearl High School on Saturday, weather permitting. Events begin at 11 a.m.

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