By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MURFREESBORO — Four Millington Trojan athletes arrived on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University with a mission.
Reggie Caldwell, Eddie Macklin, Reggie Caldwell and Corey Smith wanted to earn a State championship in the 4x200m relay at the 2019 TSSAA Large Class State Meet.
Instead the quartet had to settle for the honor having their school ‘Millington Central High School’ called over the loud speaker in front of the entire state earning seventh place with a time of 1:29.49.
“It feels good to be here representing Millington,” Smith said. “All these guys put in a whole lot of work. We all played football with each other. So it is an honor to represent our school. It’s something we worked for and strive for.”
Three other Memphis area teams came in the top four with Cordova taking fourth place.
Southwind finished second with a time of 1:28.07. The 2019 State champions in the 4x200m race was Memphis Central with a time of 1:26.55.
The Trojans left the MTSU track with mixed emotions. The quartet was disappointed not earning first but happy they reached the medal stand so their school’s name could be heard.
The moment was also bittersweet with the careers of Macklin and Smith coming to an end. Smith also reached State this year in High Jump finishing outside of the top 8.
Dowell and Caldwell just completed their sophomore campaign of football and track.
“We want to come back out and be successful,” Caldwell said. “We want to place better. We’re going to work harder. In rough situation, we’ve learned how to overcome adversity.”
Dowell said Smith and Macklin were good role model in both sports. Now the bar has been pushed up for he and Caldwell.
“We’re now called upon me and Reggie Caldwell,” he said. “We helped our seniors along this ride, long journey. There’s no more of that. We’ve worked together and now our bond is so strong. For us to come all the way out here from little ole Millington, Tennessee, for us to be on the map, we’re now known.
”We’ve made it a long way,” Dowell continued. “For us as sophomores Reggie Caldwell and I from this season we’re going to try to push ourselves to even more.”
As the sunset over the MTSU Stadium and high school career of Macklin, he fought through his tears to smile and reflect on a special run.
“I feel good leaving it their hands,” he said. “I’ve been knowing Reggie and Bug for a long time. They got on my nerves sometimes. But we worked as a team to get to State.
“I’ve been waiting a long time to get back to State,” Macklin concluded. “I quit track my junior year. We tried to get a banner so bad. But we made it close.”