March 19, 2013 11:08:24 AM
Adam Minichino - [email protected]
Just imagine what Mercedes Mattix will be able to accomplish when she has more time to practice.
With only two days of practice and coming off a long basketball season, the New Hope High School junior kicked off her outdoor track and field season in style Saturday, winning the 100, 200, and 400 meters at the Mississippi State University High School Invitational at Maddox Track.
Mattix edged Columbus High's Sky Samuel in the 100 (12.28 seconds to 12.36). Her time in heat three of the 200 (25.55) also edged Samuel, who recorded a 25.59 in heat one. Mattix also turned in a meet-record time of 58.75 in the 400. The previous mark was 58.83 set by Jessica Gray, of Arlington.
For her accomplishments, Mattix is The Dispatch's Prep Player of the Week.
Mattix practiced Monday with the team and then did some extra work on starts and ladder drills later that day at the old Columbus High field. Mattix also trained Thursday.
"I wasn't really sure how I was going to do because was nervous and during the week I didn't feel that good," Mattix said. "But when I woke up Saturday I felt better. I felt like I would do good at the meet. I am always nervous in the first meet, but I try my best and I know I can go out there and run to the best of my abilities."
Mattix won the 100 (12.81) and 200 (25.77) last season at the Class 5A, Division 2 meet. She recorded her best times in both events at the Class 5A, Region 1 meet, where she took third in both events with times of 12.24 and 25.10. She also took third in both races at the Class 5A North State meet and then finished second in the 100 (12.45) and third in the 200 (25.63) at the overall state meet.
This season, Mattix has added the 400 to her work load. She was pleased with her first performance in the event Saturday, and feels she has the potential to have a successful season.
"Once I get into track shape I am really confident I can go out there and win those events and do my best," Mattix said. "If you don't believe in yourself, you won't really get anywhere. I believe I can do it."
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.