Not surprisingly, getting off to a good start is a key component in running events. Murray High School's girls 4x800-meter relay team took that to heart and in turn got the day going for their teammates as the Tigers and Lady Tigers claimed both the boys and girls First Region, Class 1A track meet championships held Saturday on their track.
The Lady Tigers won the girls side with 259 points, beating runner up and also state-team qualifier Dawson Springs' 74.5 points.
The Tigers took the boys title with 199 points, outdistancing runner up and state-team qualifier Mayfield's 62 points.
"We had a good day, but we miss Fort Campbell," Murray coach Mark Boggess said. "Fort Campbell is what drove our engine for years, and I think we drove there's. But they had to move up classes and that's disappointing. But I've told the kids we are running and competing for seeds at state. And while there might not be as much competition because Fort Campbell isn't here, we still have to post good times to get good seeds at state."
She didn't know it then, but Murray sophomore Claire Wilson, the first leg on the girls 4x800 team, set the tone for the day when she and the rest of her team - junior Sydney Vogt, eighth grader Neely Gibson and anchor Kayleigh House - won the first event in 10 minutes, 52.62 seconds. Second-place Dawson Springs timed 12:23.09.
"Running lead off is my favorite, I like to be able to start off and get everybody in good groove," said Wilson, who also won the 1600-meter run in 6:15.04 over Gibson's 6:29.09. "On a relay team, you really have to have team companionship and be able to work together. You have to pull for each other to get a good time, so your overall time will go down."
And it was especially tough for Murray's 4x800 team, and everyone in the meet, because it was delayed an hour because of rain.
"It was a tough morning with all the rain," Gibson said. "But we had to put that all aside and get a good time so we can get a fast heat at state."
Of all the disciplines, the 100-meter dash is the one where a good start is absolutely critical.
Luckily, everything went right for Murray's Des'jahvonni Miles, who won the sprint in 11 seconds flat, beating Livingston Central's Tanner Rodgers' 11.4.
"My mindset in the blocks is to try to take everything slow and go over everything we've been practicing," Miles said. "I've been working on getting my feet out first and out before everyone else. The rest, I just try to focus on winning the race."
The only disciplines where a good start might not be as important is the throws, where all you need is one good toss.
And Murray's Dante Darcus did that in the shot put with a winning throw of 42 feet, 1.5 inches, just ahead of Mayfield's Kel Carmen's 42-1.25.
"I'm excited about going to state," said Darcus, who finished second in the discus with a throw of 127-3 to teammate's Will Langford's 128-10.
"I just want to go up there and represent the region."
Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.
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