STATE TRACK: Memorial girls still chasing state gold after injuries

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Capri Wilson saw the baton drop during 4×200-meter preliminaries.

For a moment, a Port Arthur Memorial team that had swept the three relays in the Area 11-5A meet faced elimination in the 5A Region III meet the following week.

“The prelims, it was all like, ‘Get in the finals, get in the finals, get in the finals,’” Wilson said. “I’m the fourth leg, and I had seen us drop the stick, so I’m discouraged at this point, but then I got my team to the finals, and we won it.”

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That, they did.

Wilson sealed Memorial’s spot in the final, and the Titans rewarded themselves by beating Fort Bend Willowridge by 0.2 second for the regional championship.

“It was nothing but the grace of God,” coach Sandra Bradford said.

The win got the quartet of Coreyanna Gorrer, Aniya Duhon, Zykirra Cabarras and Wilson into Friday’s 5A meet at the University of Texas. It’s a young group — junior Duhon is the eldest — that has been through adversity all season, but in the form of injuries.

“We had a lot of injuries during the regular season,” Bradford said. “Some meets, we were strong. Other meets we were not quite as strong.

“By the time everybody started healing up, that was about area time. The district meet, we were down to third alternates. We were trying to get them in because we knew by area [round], we could be a little stronger.”

Cabarras, who like Gorrer and Wilson are sophomores, had been out for weeks until she ran in the Area 11-5A meet at Barbers Hill on April 19. She helped Memorial win handily in the 4×100 and 4×200.

“That gave us a big boost,” Bradford said. “She had an injury of the groin. Groin injuries take a long time to heal. She stayed out a big part of the season, and she came back in the area at the right time.”

A’Nyriah Scott, Duhon, Millicent Neveu and Duhon and Ny’Reonna Smith earned the 4×400 victory.

In the April 28 5A Region III finals, Memorial’s 4×100 team came just 0.01 second shy of qualifying for state. Memorial ran 47 seconds flat as Alvin Shadow Creek took the second automatic berth, but that was not fast enough to earn a wild card.

So, the four Titan girls who ran in that event redeemed themselves in the 4×200. Duhon replaced Scott, the freshman who fell in the prelims, for the final on the second leg.

“It was very satisfying knowing last year, we did not get in at all,” Duhon said. “We were third in the regional meet overall, and it was kind of devastating last year. This year, it was a big accomplishment after the 4×1.

“You know, we had to come back with everything we had. We couldn’t go out like that. The 4×2 was our next race, so we had to come back.”

The 4×400 team finished seventh in regionals.

Although young, the 4×200 team has plenty of experience running together, which Bradford thinks will bode well for them at state.

Duhon is ready for the challenge.

“I’m very proud of my team as the captain of the team,” she said. “I just wanted us to go out there, have fun and do our best. No matter what the outcome was, I always said, we’re good at what we do. We’ll overcome any obstacle and any test.

“We’ll show everything we have. We’re coming stronger than ever. Nobody knows what we have.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews


About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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