Track team faces stiff competition

By Michael Kinney - Special to the Altus Times

NORMAN – Coming down the stretch of the 100-meter hurdles, Jimmie Dollins had the lead. Not only was the junior from Altus High set to take home the gold medal, but she was on pace to set a personal best.

However, going over the last hurdle, Dollins clipped her foot and took a misstep into the next lane. This caused her to lose precious split seconds and she wound up taking third at the John Jacobs Invitational at Oklahoma University.

“In the 100, I was coming in first, but I hit that last hurdle,” Dollins said. “That kind of knocked me out of first. But I know what my time could have been and I know where I’m at right now.”

Dollins ran a 15.94 in the event. Rachel Hamel of Mustang, who has the third-best time in the hurdles this season, took the title with a 15.64. But Dollins knows with just few adjustments she can be the one crossing the finish line first when it counts.

“I was thinking how I can improve and get down low on the hurdle and I got a little too low,” Dollins said. “So it knocked me off. I was just wanting to win so bad. But I know to keep to where I need to be. It’s better for me to learn my mistakes now and go from there. I now know what to do.”

Overall, the Lady Bulldogs finished with only eight total points for a 17th-place finish. Jenks was the runaway winner with 134 points. Because Altus was one of the few non-6A schools in the meet, being able to face that type of tough competition is one of the reasons coach Robert Garrison wanted his team to come to the John Jacobs.

“When we come to this meet, we know what we’re in for,” Garrison said. “The thing here at Altus, what we’ve always said about the girls program and boys program, is that we’re not going to shy away from anyone. We’re going to bring our kids up here, get the competition. It’s not about the medals. Seeing what the competition has and running against teams. It’s going to make you better in the long run. You may not come to win the meet, but you’re going to come and see the best in the state of the Oklahoma, especially here at OU.”

The fact that much of his team improved times was the most important part of the meet for Garrison. That includes Kiandra Knight, who ran a 26.35 in the 200 meters. She took 10th, but shaved a half second off her best time this season.

“Overall, it’s been a good day for us,” Garrison said. “All the times are down. We’re pretty pleased. We knew going in with all these 6A teams it was going to be pretty tough. To be honest, we held our own and we knocked all our times down. Which is what we want to do at this time. That’s actually getting us ready for regionals.”

Dollins, who also took sixth in the 300-meter hurdles, says she liked what she saw from her squad at the John Jacob and they will be ready for the postseason.

“Throughout this meet, the times have been dropping,” Dollins said. “So that’s good. We’ve all improved in our times for the most part and I think we’re going to be strong heading into regionals.”

By Michael Kinney

Special to the Altus Times

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