By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Millington Middle School and Aliyah Williamson are prominent members of the TMSAA Track history book.
On May 21, the Stallion Track program led by Head Coach T. Taylor and assistant coaches Linda Miller, Jennifer Gallo and Dennis Alexander led seven athletes to the first State Middle Track Meet.
“The Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association put on a marvelous event in Clarksville at Austin Peay State University,” Taylor said. “The stadium was packed. A lot of schools there. I think 23 schools in Division A and 22 schools in Division 2A. It as kind of an overcast, semi-cool day. It was just right for running track.”
The seven Stallions in Clarksville brought back 9 medals to Flag City with Aliyah Williamson winning gold in the 1600m and 800m. Millington also won two bronze medals with Devonte Nelson in the 200m and Adrian Dowell in 800m.
“I’m especially proud of Aliyah,” Taylor said. “But it was an overall team effort. Everybody supported everybody, whether they were running events with her or not, they were always cheering her on. Aliyah has a solid work attitude. She goes to practice and does what she needs to do. Never complains and just a solid work ethic. And it showed our there on the track last Saturday.”
The Stallion 4x200m relay team took fifth and sixth grader Paige Lambert earned seventh place in the 400m. Other Millington athletes to compete were Reginald Caldwell, Colby Goode and Perry Harrold.
Williamson’s performance earned her a spot in the record book as the first TMSAA winner at State in two events.
“It feels good to be a part of history because I know a lot of people don’t do this,” she said. “To be a part of history to know that I did all the hard work and it paid off.”
Williamson said being on the big stage at State was nerve racking for a little while.
“I try not to think about that,” she said. “I just tried to think about doing good during the race. It was a lot of people but it does feel good to know that you’re running and people are cheering you on.”
Nearing her first gold medal, Williamson allowed the cheers to motivate her.
“I was thinking, ‘Yes!’ I knew she was right behind me and I was feeling the pain,” Williamson recalled. “But I was happy that I finished.
“It felt good because we all support each other on the team, are there for each other and we root each other on,” she added. “When you are there for each other in the races and you’re on your third lap, they are cheering you on to encourage you to finish.”
Williamson finished with her two gold medals locking up a victory in the 800m later that day.
“I explained to our kids, this was a history-making event,” Taylor said. “This was the inaugural, first time ever in the state of Tennessee they had state level track competition. It was the first of the first. They were a part of history. They are a part of the record book.”
Nelson wrote his name in two categories as a medalist winning the bronze in the 200m and as part of the 4x200m relay team.
Nelson will be the only athlete departing the program because of graduation to the high school. Taylor said Nelson will make a name in track, football and basketball at Millington Central High School.
The veteran coach added it is the Stallion Track program’s goal to send quality student/athletes to the next level.
Taylor noted about five fifth graders will enter the program next school year after time competing in SYS track. Williamson, who will be an eighth grader next season, said the Stallions are building toward becoming Trojans.
“To be a Stallion takes commitment, determination and you’ve got to have respect and be ready to run,” Williamson concluded.