CARBON HILL, Ala. -- Jennifer Byrd could taste victory when she rounded turn four at Magnolia Motor Speedway on July 10. After three laps of battling back and forth with her husband, Jason Byrd, in the Factory Stock feature race, she thought she had enough of a run off the final turn to earn her first head-to-head win against him. But Jason, who'd been racing the high-line of the track, edged her at the line by 0.16 seconds.
Tony Shelton Jr. needed one race in a Late Model car to know he wanted to leave Street Stocks. It helps that first race in a Late Model resulted in a win, which came earlier this year at Columbus Speedway. That victory came in his father's ride, the No. 3 B&S Salvage car. Shortly thereafter, the Sheltons purchased the No. 68 Late Model car from the Rickman Racing team.
There wasn't a driver happier than Allen Simmons when the lights were shut off and the final hauler pulled out of Columbus Speedway on Aug. 1. Simmons didn't win a feature race that night. He didn't finish second or win a lot of money. The former runner-up in the speedway's Super Late Model points race accomplished a feat that had eluded him in seven years of racing: a win in a heat race.
The significance didn't hit DJ Sanders until she heard the national anthem. Up until that point, Sanders enjoyed her opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world as a member of the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team, but the enormity of the moment didn't sink in until "The Star Spangled Banner" started to play. That's when the fact that she had just won a gold medal representing her country hit her.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- D.J. Sanders has accomplished a lot in her athletic career. Now the former New Hope High School standout has a gold medal to add to her collection of awards and hardware. On Saturday, Sanders went 1-for-4 in the USA Softball Junior Women's National Team's 8-1 victory against Japan in the Gold Medal Game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women's World Championship.
Jimmy Simmons can add the Possum Town Triathlon to the top of his personal list of competitive performances. Simmons, a Columbus native who resides in Atlanta, won the fourth-annual race Saturday with a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes, 22 seconds. Simmons made the top 15 last year and said he improved his time and splits from last year's race.
Danny Christian hasn't raced for a points title in more than 10 years. He didn't plan to this year, either, but a commitment to run a Street Stock slate at Magnolia Motor Speedway quickly turned into a "can't miss" schedule when he found himself in the points lead earlier this season.
It's clear who the top drivers are if you look at the NeSmith Late Model standings at Magnolia Motor Speedway in each of the last four years. Evan Ellis, Jeremy Shaw, Shay Knight, and Kyle Shaw have traded the top four positions this season -- much like the last few -- and at the halfway point of the slate at Magnolia, the fight for the points championship this year has narrowed to Knight and Kyle Shaw.
It looked like a two-man show for the $2,500 purse for the first half of the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Super Late Model race Saturday night. Series points leader Bub McCool, winner of five series races this year, was trading paint for first place with Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, who set the track record during qualifying with a 13.02-second lap. Chad Thrash, who entered the night trailing only McCool in points, was still searching for his first series win of the season. He held down third place for the first 25 laps, waiting for an opening against McCool and Hollingsworth.
STARKVILLE -- Nick Griffin has experienced almost everything a player can on a football field. The running back played four seasons in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the nation's best college football league. This past season, Griffin helped Mississippi State rise to No. 1 for five weeks and earn an invitation to the Orange Bowl last December. Last week, Griffin did something not many football players can say they did: He helped the United States win a gold medal at the International Federation of American Football World Championship in Canton, Ohio.
Jimmy Anderson Jr. might be the most consistent race car driver in the Golden Triangle this season. He leads the 602 Late Model points race at Columbus Speedway. He has finished fourth or better in four of the seven races at the track this season. He has done it without a feature win or a runner-up finish.
Bub McCool was patient Saturday night. For nearly 50 laps, the Vicksburg native was mired in a slugfest for second place in the Southern All-Stars Super Late Model Race at the 12-annual Governor's Cup at Magnolia Motor Speedway.
WEST POINT - There's no doubt that Taylor Funk knows what it takes to win on the golf course.
When the Southern All-Stars Racing Series began in 1983, founder and Birmingham, Ala. race promotor BJ Parker wanted to give regional racers a chance to travel and race for larger prize money.
Some of the nation's brightest young golfers have converged on the Golden Triangle area for this week.
Columbus was one strike away from collecting its third win in as many days.
Evan Ellis had a lighter, less powerful motor in a division in which he'd never competed.
STARKVILLE -- Growing up, Nick Griffin only dreamed of playing in the National Football League. But Griffin is putting that dream on hold. Earlier this year, the former Mississippi State football player was hired by new Madison Central High School football coach Brad Peterson to coach the running backs. Peterson wanted a coach who fit his personality and the personality of his staff. That's what he found when he interviewed Griffin, who had 3.0 grade-point average and was a three-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Fall Honor Roll.
It's easy to detect the passion in Taylor Chisolm's voice. A few years ago, soccer would have been the topic of conversation. After all, Chisolm set a school record for goals in a season as a senior at Caledonia High School in 2009. His exploits helped lead the Confederates to a school-best 14-5 record and the Class 4A North Half title game. Since then, though, Chisolm has found a new hobby, or passion, to occupy some of his spare time. Don't think for one second that just because you might not have heard of the sport -- disc golf -- Chisolm isn't as passionate about it as he was about soccer. In fact, if you know Chisolm, he might be even more consumed with disc golf than he ever was about soccer.
Jeremy Shaw didn't sound like a driver willing to chalk up a 15th-place finish to bad luck. Midway through a Limited Late Model race at Columbus Speedway on June 6, Shaw's No. 1s car slowed after its battery died. After the race, Shaw, who'd won a race at Columbus earlier this season and finished second twice at Magnolia Motor Speedway, knew he had more unnerving issues.
1. Pickens Academy playing for assistant coach Copland HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
2. Noxubee County beats Columbus; Starkville defeats Oxford HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. Friday's, Thursday's Mississippi Prep Football Scores HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. No. 1 EMCC rolls Southwest to extend winning streak COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Roberts shines at QB in first start for EMCC COLLEGE SPORTS