Tate rallied to claim victory in 400-meter final

June 29, 2009

Danny P Smith -


EUGENE, Ore. -- Starkville sprinter and Mississippi State signee Tavaris Tate rallied to take the victory in the finals of the 400-meter dash at the United State''s Track and Field Junior Championships on Sunday afternoon. 


Tate''s winning time of 46.04 seconds was better than Joey Hughes at 46.26 and Clayton Parros at 46.88. 


By winning the USA event, Tate has qualified to participate at the National Junior Championships in Trinidad next month. 


Despite being hampered by a sore hamstring, Tate was determined to get back into the race and take it after he fell behind. 


"I noticed the other guys were making separation from me, but I was still in the pack so I moved up about the 200 (mark of the race)," Tate said. "Coming out of the curve, I saw Joey Hughes had turned it up another gear so I knew it was my time to make another move. 


"I was only thinking about the finish line so I kept on tucking my head and driving." 


Tate said his lane placement was key so he could see the entire field and how the rest of the runners started. 


Russell Tate, Tavaris'' father, was excited to see his son overcome the pain of the sore hamstring and remain undefeated this summer. 


"The Lord has blessed Tavaris and brought him through," Russell said. "He has been with us through all of our travels and competition."