By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Middle School Track program was in the starting block in 2014-15.
This fall the program appears to be picking up speed in its lane. Building off a solid campaign last year, the Stallion Track program entered year two under Coach Te Taylor looking for more success in cross country. Two Stallions were able to reach the middle school Regionals last month with Alijah Williamson qualifying for State held Oct. 24 in Knoxville.
Williamson was one of the top girl finisher at Regionals taking 42nd out of 189 competitors. She ran the 2 miles in 14 minutes and 32 seconds.
In boys, Jaden Tincher finished 95th out of 182 runners at Regionals. Tincher ran 14:51 at Regionals. He has run a personal best of 13:49.
“You have to be a student first and then we look at your athleticism,” Taylor noted. “Both students are very focused academically. They are both student leaders in the classroom, hallways and cafeteria.
“They are well-thought of amongst their peers,” he added. “Case in point, when they are recognized for their achievements, they are very humble and remain focused.”
Williamson is a seventh grader who also plays soccer and basketball. She hopes to run the mile and 800m this spring.
Tincher is an eighth grader who plans to run the 2-mile, 1-mile and 800m events.
“Jaden is of course running events with his Dad (Jeremy),” Taylor said. “He’s running 2Ks, 5Ks and all those major events. I will start our winter track workouts the second week in November. My hope is to have maybe one or two indoor track meets. We’ll working on that now for our kids.”
Taylor along with area coaches like Dennis Alexander, Johnathan Edwards and Adrian Smith are trying to make track a year-around sport in Millington to improve the Millington Central High School program.
Trojan Track is already benefiting from the Stallions with the arrival of Gabe Christopher and Decoran Alexander this year.
“We really believe in not only establishing track teams, but track programs so that we can be a feeder in the process,” Taylor said. “You have the middle school coaches linked with the high school coaches who are going to link with possible scholarship opportunities for these kids.
“We established a program last year,” he added. “We had both girls and boys relay teams highly qualified. We had that little (situation) at the end of the year. But we were highly qualified with relay teams, individual sprinters in the 200m and 100m. Gabe Christopher was one of our standout sprinters. This year he’s a freshman in high school. We look forward to him running track in high school.”
In 2015, Millington Middle athletes like Christopher helped the Stallions post top 3 finishes in multiple meets. Taylor and the coaching staff made the trip to Whitehaven for Sectionals but officials turned the Stallions aways at the gate.
“That was the hallmark of our inaugural season at Millington Middle School,” he recalled. “This year Millington Middle School will be a fully recognized track program. We’ll actually participate in a qualifying Sectional event so our kids can move on to both Regional and Tennessee Middle School State championships. Those will be held in Clarksville, Tenn., this year.”
Taylor has attended all the proper meetings to make sure his athletes will have a chance to reach State and build on the tradition of Millington track.
“These kids deserve the opportunity to compete against teams and athletes they’ve competed against all season,” Taylor concluded. “Our kids will prove themselves.”