Meridian Star


May 8, 2014

MCC track signees

MERIDIAN —     The Meridian Community College Track and Field team added six new signees to their roster for next year Coach Chip Gayden announced Tuesday.  The signees include five athletes from the state of Mississippi and one from Louisiana. The group signing with MCC provides the program with some good sprinters and distance runners.

     “This is a good group in our second wave of signings,” said Coach Gayden. “In this group we really added some depth in our sprint and hurdle events for the men’s team along with a distance runner for our women’s program.”

     In the sprint and hurdle events the signing class is led by Chris Lewis, Antonio Owens, Bryson Penton, Ollie Tate and Orlando Tate. Lewis is a 100 and 200 meter sprinter from Lakeside High School in Sibley, Louisiana.  Lewis is currently ranked 20th nationally in the 100 with a personal best of 10.39 and 9th nationally in the 200 with a personal best of 20.95.

     Owens is a 100 and 200 meter sprinter from Meridian High School.  Owens is one of the top sprinters in Mississippi with a personal best of 21.20 in the 200.  His personal best ranked him amongst the best in the country as a junior.

Penton comes to MCC from Pearl River Central High School.  Penton is one of the top sprinters and hurdlers in Mississippi.  He has a personal best of 10.84 in the 100 and 40.86 in the 300 hurdles.

     Ollie Tate is from Yazoo County High School where he is one of the top 400 meter runners in the state of Mississippi.  Tate boasts a personal best of 49.87 in the 400.  He is also the twin brother of Orlando Tate.

     Orlando Tate is also from Yazoo County High School joining his brother Ollie Tate.  Orlando is one of the top hurdlers in Mississippi.  Orlando comes to MCC with personal bests of 15.19 in the 110 hurdles and 40.19 in the 300 hurdles.

     On the women’s team in the distance events the group is led by Esmeralda Rodriguez.

     Esmeralda Rodriguez comes to MCC from Lafayette High School in Oxford, MS.  Rodriguez is one of the top senior female distance runners in Mississippi.  She comes to MCC with personal best of 12:15 in the 3200 meters on the track and 15:51.90 in cross-country.

 Coach Gayden said he looks to have one more group of signings to go along with this group and the group that signed in February.  “We still have one more wave of signings.  This group really helps lay the foundation for our program and this last wave that we still have should really give us a complete team that is very competitive at the national level.”

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