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Early ending for Troup track team

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

A season filled with potential never came to be.

Troup High’s track and field team was a few days away from its first competition when all of the spring sports seasons were postponed, and they were later canceled.

After working hard to get ready for a new season, Troup’s track-and-field athletes never got to show what they could do.

“They were doing what they were supposed to do in my absence in order to prepare for the season, and it’s a season they never got to have,” said coach Carla Thornton, who was also the head coach of the girls’ basketball team that played for a state championship. “So it’s like they put in all that work for nothing. They didn’t get one meet. That’s the sad part about it.”

The cancelation of the season was a particularly tough blow for the seniors, including Ashanti Tigner, who won two medals at last year’s state meet.

Tigner finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the 200-meter dash after winning both of those events in the region meet, and Thornton felt she had the potential to do even better this spring.

Winning a state championship, Thornton said, “was a very realistic goal. Our mindset was, you’ve got a taste of it now, and you saw how close the races were. You can be at the top of the podium.”

Other seniors whose seasons ended before it began include Catherine Leveritt and Amber Gilbert, who both participated in the state finals last season.

Leveritt is a versatile runner who has competed in distance and sprinting events, and Gilbert finished 12th in the state in the shot put last year.

Gilbert was also a standout basketball player who helped the Lady Tigers reach the state-championship game.

On the boys’ side, senior Mark-Anthony Dixon was returning to the track after missing his junior season with an injury.

As a sophomore, Dixon finished fourth in the state in the 100, and he was fifth in the 200.

Thornton was proud of the dedication all of the team members showed, and “to see (the season) not come to fruition, it hurts bad.”