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Marshall relay teams prepare for area meet

By Nathan Hague
April 19, 2017 at 4 a.m.

The Marshall Lady Mavericks' mile-relay team, which consists of, from left, Kiari Johnson, Jakiah Robinson, head coach Jodi Satterwhite, Shamya Washington and Tashianna Gray, finished second at the District 16-5A meet to qualify for this week's area meet at Lucas Lovejoy High School.

Last week's District 16-5A track meet saw Marshall's girls mile-relay team, which consists of Kiari Johnson, Jakiah Robinson, Shamya Washington and Tashianna, come in second place with a time of four minutes and eight seconds to qualify for the area track meet this Thursday.

The boys' 4x200, which consists of Darius Williams, Demarcus Alexander, Selah Smith and Jared Washington also came in second with a time of one minute and 31 seconds.

"I can't believe we dropped eight seconds," Johnson said. "That was perfect."

"It was such a big improvement because from our very first meet, it was horrible," Robinson said. "Everybody was like, 'Oh my gosh, what's wrong with Marshall track this year? Now we're just like nothing happened.'"

"The thing is about our mile relay, they're not just running for themselves," Satterwhite said. "They're also running for every other mile relay team that we've had in our track family. They don't want to drop the baton as it were. We have gone to regionals the last several years so they don't want to be the class that doesn't do that, doesn't go to the next level.

"There's not only pressure that we put on ourselves but there's pressure from those kids from the past. Once you're on this track team, you're on this track team forever. I've got kids (who ask), 'How did we do?' and they they've been gone for 10 years. It's not 'How did you do,' it's 'how did we do.' When they graduate, they'll ask, 'How did we do coach.'"

As for the boys' team, Alexander said Marshall's new athletic director, Claude Mathis, made a big difference.

"What really helped us out was when coach Mathis came," Alexander said. "He changed it around and he helped us with our handoffs."

"We've had some turnover on the boys' side, but they really stepped up and competed when it would have been easy not to," Satterwhite added. "I think coach Mathis had a big part in that. He comes in with a lot of energy and he has pushed those kids and not just with the boys but with the girls too. He was the first one over there to tell them good job."

As for this week's meet and what's ahead, expectations are high among the Mavericks.

"We've got to keep being positive and moving forward," Alexander said.

"We just want to work harder and drop our time," Robinson said.

"We always say we're running against what we did last week," Satterwhite continued.

"We're working on dropping our times and finishing in the top four so we can make it to regionals," Johnson added.

Thursday's area track meet will take place at Lovejoy High School in Lucas.

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