By GREG MENGELT
Clarksville junior Marquise Parrish has a lot to live up to.
Parrish’s cousin — New Albany’s Jermaine Parrish — is the defending state 100-meter champion and 200 state runner-up.
Generals’ second-year coach Greg Moman believes his sprinter is up to it.
“Marquise has a lot of size and power,” Moman said. “His potential is only limited by how much work we get in.”
Marquise Parrish’s best time in the 100-meter dash is 11.1 seconds. That’s sixth-tenths of a second off his cousin’s time set at last Friday’s Floyd Central Invitational. His 23-second 200 time is more than a second behind Jermaine’s top speed this year.
Still, after Jermaine Parrish dominated the sectional a year ago, Marquise believes he may have something for the state champion on May 16 at the Floyd Central Sectional.
“I think I can beat him,” Marquise Parrish said. “I have confidence I can beat him. Great competition makes me run faster. I like to come from behind.”
Despite being a junior, Marquise Parrish is a track and field rookie. He hasn’t run track since seventh grade. He had made a decision to return to the sport he once loved before last season, but a knee injury in football kept him off of the track in 2012.
There’s no denying Marquise Parrish’s gifts. In Clarksville’s football season opener, he returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in one quarter against Southridge. He also was part of the Generals’ first basketball sectional championship since 1986.
“I think he’s still working on a few mechanics,” Moman said. “We’re seeing his raw side still. When he becomes polished, I don’t have any doubt that he should be right there in the top 10 in the state in both the 100 and 200. We’ll just have to wait and see how fast the polishing process happens.”
Marquise Parrish believes it’s just a matter of time before he sees great improvements in his 100 and 200 times.
“I want to get at least 10.6 and between 22 and 23 in the 200,” he said.
Marquise Parrish not only has a family name to live up to, he’s also carrying on a great Clarksville sprinting tradition. As recently as 2007, Ryan Masters was a state runner-up in the 200 meters. Masters was the most recent in a long line of General greats.
“We’ve had a pretty established program,” Moman said. “It’s been pretty impressive.”
PERFORMER OF THE WEEK
Codie Hamsley, Floyd Central
Hamsley was a two-time winner at last Friday’s Floyd Central Invitational. He won the discus with a personal- and school-record throw of 200 feet, 7 inches. The toss by Hamsley, who finished second in the state a year ago, was nearly 8 feet farther than last year’s state championship distance. Hamsley also won the shot put with a throw of 52-6. That throw would have ranked 15th in last year’s state finals.
WEEK’S TOP PERFORMANCES
• Tyrell Dowdell, Jeffersonville: Dowdell broke the 200-meter dash and 400 meet records at Saturday’s Indiana-Kentucky Showdown in Evansville. Dowdell also was a member of the winning 800 relay team.
• Jermaine Parrish, New Albany: Parrish won the 100 in 10.57 and the 200 in 21.94 in Friday’s Floyd Central Invitational.
• Grant Foster, Floyd Central: Foster was first in the 110 high hurdles, second in the 300 intermediate hurdles and second in the high jump in last Friday’s Floyd Central Invitational.
• Adan Diaz, New Washington: Diaz won three events — the 1,600 (5:20), the 3,200 (12:28) and the 300 hurdles (45.81) — as the Mustangs defeated Southwestern on Thursday.
• Drew Hirsch, New Albany: Hirsch won the 800 and 1,600 in a three-way meet against Providence and Christian Academy and had a second- and a fourth-place finish at Floyd on Friday.
• Brett Williams, Borden: Williams won the shot put and the discus in a three-way meet against Lanesville and South Central last Tuesday. On Friday, he finished third in the shot put at Floyd.
• Ian Hughes, New Washington: In a 66-57 win over Southwestern, Hughes won the 400 (56.28), the discus (119-11) and the high jump (5-10).
• Dalton Adkins, Jeffersonville: Adkins cleared 5-10 to win the high jump at Friday’s Floyd Central Invitational.
• Logan Vaughn, Floyd Central: Vaughn jumped a career-best 19-5 1/2 to win the long jump at the Floyd Central Invitational.