White, Benson lead BHS in track

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brookhaven’s Desiree Benson doesn’t mind the excruciating painthat distance runners must endure. She thrives and succeeds in the1600 and 3200-meter runs.

Ole Brook teammate Isaiah White is unbeaten in the 110-meterhurdles and relishes the competition, too. White and Benson willlead a group of BHS competitors in Friday’s MHSAA Class 4A StateTrack Meet at Pearl. Action begins at 12:30 p.m.

Joining White and Benson in the state meet are Brookhaven’sChavon Middleton in the 300-meter hurdles, Adriena Graham in thetriple jump and 4×100 relay, Erica Lenoir in the triple jump and4x100, and Karronda Redd, Jamie Swington, and Julecia Jefferson inthe 4×100. Jefferson is the relay’s alternate.

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“Desiree has been one of our most consistent runners all year,”said BHS track coach Trevor Brister. “She’s a four-year veteran andshe’s having her best year. She’s gotten stronger each year.”

Benson said she prepares herself mentally and physically for theexhausting events. “I do a lot of stretching to get ready and Idrink a lot of water. I push myself.”

Looking to the future, Benson said, “I hope to get a scholarshipin track.”

At South State last week, Benson was fourth in the 3200 andthird in the 1600.

White, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior, has exceptional speed andhe plans to showcase that asset in the 2009 football season when hewears jersey No. 31 and works as a running back. Right now, thepriority is a state title in the 110-meter hurdles.

“I like the competition,” said White. “I’ve been running hurdlessince the eighth grade.”

Asked about his chances Friday, White said, “I’m looking forwardto state. I know the competition will be tough.”

White’s best time this season was a 15.15 He has yet to lose arace. “I would like to run a 14.8 at state.”

Brister said, “Isaiah has a good work ethic. He works hard everyday to get better. He has gotten a lot better with histechnique.”

He said one of his most consistent performers was Graham whocompetes in the triple jump and the 4×100 relay. Graham won thetriple jump at South State with a leap of 34 feet, 8 inches.

Brister said Middleton has been consistent in his 300 hurdles.He was second in South State.

Working with Brister as assistant coaches this spring have beenZack Fortenberry, Kelby Bowman and Freda Craft.