April 29, 2009
Danny P Smith -
STARKVILLE -- Tavaris Tate will stay home to run track collegiately.
The Starkville High School senior has committed to Mississippi State to remain close to family and friends. He will officially sign Friday.
The sprinter had many choices to consider, but said he couldn''t go wrong with Mississippi State.
"There are people here that have supported me over the years," Tate said. "It gives some people that haven''t seen me run a chance if I stay at home.
"This is just to support Mississippi. This is where I was brought up and that''s where I''m going to leave it."
Tate, who also seriously considered Texas A&M, won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs at the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A, Region 2 meet in Tupelo this past weekend. He was also the anchor for the winning 4x400 meter relay.
His 45.7 second time in the 400 was the best in the nation and was something Tate worked hard to achieve.
"We had been training all last week and 45 (seconds) was set to be a goal, but it wasn''t set to be broken that day," Tate said. "I felt good as I got in my blocks and I told myself to go for it. I came out strong and felt relaxed. I just kept going."
Starkville track coach Cleveland Hudson believed Tate could run the 400 close to 45 seconds, but didn''t know when.
"When he came out of the blocks, it looked like it was just perfect," Hudson said. "For a guy who works that hard and is that humble, it makes you feel good when he does something."
Tate admits that the wind got knocked out of him by running the 400 and he didn''t have very much left for the 200.
The meet was run at such a strict schedule that there wasn''t much time between events.
Even not at his best, Tate still won the 200 with a time of 21.5 seconds. He took the 100 in 10.65 seconds.
After Tate signs with Mississippi State, he and his Yellow Jacket teammates participate at the Class 5A North State meet at Madison Central High School on Saturday.