STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State signee Tavaris Tate was named to USA Today's 2009 All-USA track and field team this past weekend, the newspaper announced.
The speedy Tate, an all-American out of Starkville High School, currently holds the fastest high school times nationally in the 400- and 200-meter dashes at 45.78 and 20.89, respectively.
"It's a great honor for Tavaris, and he definitely deserves the recognition," MSU coach Al Schmidt said. "This shows you the caliber of athlete we have joining our program this fall. We feel he'll win many more honors before his career is over."
This past year as a senior, Tate became the first Mississippi prepster in state history to win the Class 5A titles in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes in the same year.
Back in March, Tate won the 400-meter dash at the Nike Indoor Meet in Boston with a time of 47.84. He nearly won the 200, but finished second in 21.55, .02 seconds short of the gold. In early April, he was also the gold medalist at the Mobile Challenge of Champions in the 200 (20.89) and 400 (46.74).
Last season as a junior in leading the Yellowjackets to the Class 5A crown, Tate claimed individual titles in both the 400- and 200-meter dashes en route to garnering USA Today All-USA honors, while his 4x400 meter-relay team also finished first.
Tate, along with MSU sophomore De'Angelo Cherry and incoming freshman Jody-Ann Muir, returns to action this weekend in Port of Spain, Trinidad, at the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship. Cherry (Jonesboro, Ga.) will compete in the 100-meter dash and on the 4x400-meter relay team, while Tate will set his sights on the 400-meter dash and in the 4x100-meter relay. Muir will represent her native country of Jamaica in the 100-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay team.
STARKVILLE - Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen announced today his team's first week of fall practices will be open to the public. The Bulldogs will practice once each day at the Holliman Center Practice Complex from Monday through Friday as it adheres to the NCAA five-day acclimation period.
"We wanted to open up the first week - just like we opened practice in the spring - to give our fans a chance to come out and get a look at what we're trying to build for the upcoming season," Mullen said. "Obviously as we get closer to game week we can't do that; but for those first practices, we hope a whole lot of our fans can come out and watch."
The head coach will welcome his first Bulldog squad to campus on Sunday as the full varsity roster will gather for a first-day team meeting. The staff will conduct a split practice on Monday, with the freshmen going through a closed morning session before the varsity roster takes to the practice fields in the afternoon.
"It's just a chance to get the freshmen out there into position so that they know where they're going and what they're supposed to be doing," the head coach said. "Also, we don't want to slow down the guys that have been out here in the spring and already know what is expected of them."
The full roster will practice together on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings before a pair of morning workouts to close the week. When the team begins two-a-day workouts on Saturday, August 8, practices will be closed to the public for the remainder of the season.
Fans will have a final opportunity to see their Bulldogs before the Sept. 5 season opener against Jackson State as the team will conduct its Fan Day at the Palmeiro Center on August 29. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and the team and coaches will sign autographs from 12 noon until 2 p.m.
FIRST WEEK PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Monday, August 3 - 3:15 p.m. (Varsity only)
Tuesday, August 4 - 6:15 p.m.
Wednesday, August 5 - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday, August 6 - 9:00 a.m.
Friday, August 7 - 9:00 a.m.