Ready, set: MSMS’s newest sport


Gina Nguyen

Track and field joins the lineup of athletic offerings at MSMS.

Davan Reece, Managing Editor

When most outsiders think of MSMS, they think of kids who have their noses somewhere between the thin pages of a book or solving expansive multivariable calculus problems on a chalkboard. While some of these characteristics are undoubtedly reality, few neglect the pure athleticism bubbling beneath students’ brainy exteriors. 

MSMS has traditionally been home to four sports: soccer, tennis, swim and cross country. However, some students stepped up and decided to change that by offering a new athletic experience for students who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the classroom and on the track, launching a new track and field team for the Blue Waves.

“The main reason I wanted to start a track team was because not only did I know that we had a lot of people who ran track at their old schools and couldn’t run anymore, but I really felt that it would increase the outreach of MSMS, and show other schools that we are more than just academics and we can have good athletic programs, too,” said junior Luke Bowles, who proposed the idea of bringing track and field to the campus.

Bowles, who will serve as both track and field and cross country co-captain next year, saw the new athletic offering as a way to fight back against MSMS stereotypes. “The stereotype of MSMS only being intelligent and not athletic is something we can fight,” Bowles said. “A lot of people fail to realize that many MSMS students are multifaceted. We are more than just nerds.”

The campaign to bring a track and field to MSMS was not without its hurdles, however. “The first thing we had to do was talk to Ms. [LeAnn] Alexander and have her talk to Dr. [Germain] McConnell about whether it would be even possible,” Bowles said. “Once we did that, we had to go out and get the names of people who would be interested in being in the sport.”

“[Ms. Alexander], through a long and rigorous process of getting us approved with not only by [the Mississippi High School Sports Association] to start a team, but also Dr. McConnell.”

The process began in early September and ended with an official greenlight in late January.

It wasn’t just juniors excited about this new and exciting opportunity. Senior Reggie Zheng, who ran alongside Bowles in cross country, was eager for a new outlet to enjoy his love for running. “I’ve always done cross country,” Zheng said. “I’ve always wanted to try out track, because track incorporates much more than just running, such as throwing events and relay races.”

“I think it’s good to have new sports opportunities,” Zheng said. “Not to get rid of our notion of being nerds, but for other people to find what they love to do.”

Senior Aiden Leise, who also ran for the Blue Waves’ cross country team, shared his fellow teammates’ excitement about the new team. “Being at a ‘nerd’ school doesn’t have much bearing on whether or not people do sports. There are quite a few people here that do sports at MSMS, and the turnout for the first track and field practice was pretty good. I’m definitely excited for another opportunity to try something.”

“I guess I just like running because it’s something that pretty much everyone has the ability to do and it’s really easy to get into,” Leise said. “Running inspires a sense of freedom.”