Vicksburg’s Smith sprinting into record books
Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 11, 2014
Terrell Smith won’t just be chasing another gold medal Monday at the Class 5A state track meet.
He’ll be chasing history, and he’s not shy about saying so.
Smith, Vicksburg High’s senior sprinter extraordinaire, is the defending champion in the meet’s glamour event, the 100 meter dash. He’s won the 200 meters three years in a row, and is also a favorite to win the long jump for the first time.
Three more gold medals — and possibly a fourth in the 4×100 meter relay — at the Class 5A state meet Monday at Pearl High School would cement his legacy as one of the state’s greatest sprinters. It’s a challenge he’s embracing heading into his last high school meet before beginning his college track career next season at Kansas State.
“At this meet, I plan to do a lot of special things. I plan to be the first person to go 20-point (in the 200) at the state meet,” Smith said. “I want to be the first person in history who did that. I want to leave my mark.”
Each state championship would be worth 10 points toward Vicksburg High’s team total in the meet. Smith’s biggest goal isn’t earning 40 points, though. It’s “20 point.”
As in, recording a time of 20-point-something seconds in the 200 meters.
The overall state record in the event is 21.08 seconds, set two years ago by Jermale Mosby of Shelby Broad Street. Smith ran 20.79 at last week’s Class 5A North State meet in Oxford.
A similar performance by Smith on Monday would give him his fourth consecutive state title in the 200 and obliterate the state record, which is what he’s hoping for.
“That’s one of my proudest accomplishments. Not too many people can say they won it four years in a row and broke the record the last one,” Smith said. “It should sustain for about 20 years if I break the record.”
Going 4-for-4 in the 200, and 3-for-3 for the day, would also give Smith a place in Mississippi track lore. No records of individual championships are available beyond the past decade, but sweeping an event for four consecutive years — especially a highly competitive one like the 200 meters — is a difficult feat to achieve.
“The GOAT of Mississippi. The greatest of all time,” Smith said. “It’s all in what I can do, and what I can accomplish at the meet.”
Smith seems to be in a class by himself when it comes to sprinting, but he might not be the only one from Vicksburg High to come home with a gold medal on Monday.
Sophomore Leon Miles has the fastest seed time in the 300 meter hurdles, and the second-fastest in the 110 meter hurdles. Teammate Tavares Johnson Jr. has also reached the state final in both hurdles events.
In the girls Class 5A meet, sophomore Tymesha Nabors appears to be one clean run away from a state championship in the 300 hurdles.
Nabors ran the 300 hurdles in 44.76 seconds at last week’s North State meet — more than three seconds better than anyone else in the state final.
“That’s great for her age. Every time, she improves that time. This time, she said she was shooting for 40 seconds,” Vicksburg girls coach Stacey Banks said.
Keiyana Gaskin is a contender for the Missy Gators in the 100 and 200 meters, Lakeria Tubbs is one of five high jumpers who cleared 5 feet, 2 inches last week — the top mark in the eight-person field — and Breanna Foy is seeded third in the long jump.
In addition, both the Vicksburg girls and boys have qualified in all three relay events.
Vicksburg’s girls likely don’t have enough depth to win a team championship, but Banks said a top-five team finish is a goal.
“We have nine events. Last week (at North State) we got fourth overall. So this week I’m shooting for second or third,” Banks said. “They’re improving in every event. I’m so proud of them.”