July 23, 2008
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Head Track and Field Coach Kevin Stephen has announced the signing of nine additions, Tori Bowie of Sand Hill, Miss., Ke'Airra Jones of Natchez, Miss., Victoria Sarah Omotayo of Jonesborogh, Ga., Tandra Patterson of Pascagoula, Miss., Cara Wells of Little Rock, Ark., Hayley Wommack of Hattiesburg, Miss., Alexandru Mitan of Buzau City, Romania, Tyyon Neal of Lafayette, La. and Aston Williams of Gremercy, La. to national letters of intent for the 2008-09 academic year.
"I am very pleased with the quality of our signing class," Stephen said. "The group is a good mix of the best in the state of Mississippi, surrounding states and international as well. I am especially proud to say that each person in this group is of great character and is an outstanding student. I look forward to this group moving us closer to our goal of returning to the ranks of the Conference USA Elite."
Bowie was a three-year letterwinner for Coach Angela Reynolds at Pisgah High School. She was a three-time state champion on the 4x100-meter relay team and a state champion in the 100 and 200 meters and long jump. She recorded top performances times of 12.0 in the 100 meters, 25.0, in the 200 meters and 19'9" in the long jump. She was named her team's co-captain. She is the daughter of Bobbie and Dennis Bowie.
Jones was a three-year letterwinner at Natchez High School for Coach Mary Wesley. She recorded personal best performances of 5'10' in the high jump, 24.87 in the 200 meters and 55.03 in the 400 meters. She was a independent champion and state record holder in the high jump. She is the daughter of Regina Jones and Thomas Brown.
Omotayo attended Munday's Mill High School, where she competed in the 100, 200 and 400 meters and the 300-meter hurdles. She recorded top performances of 12.1 in the 100, 24.9 in the 200, 57.2 in the 400 and 44.3 in the 300-meter hurdles. She was named the 2007 Athlete of the Year, while claiming national championships in the 200 meters and the 4x100-meter relay in 2003. She won multiple state championships. She owns the school record in the 300-meter hurdles. She is the daughter of Fred and Toni Omotayo.
Patterson was a three-year letterwinner for Coach David Maxwell at Pascagoula High School. She was a state finalist of the Wendy's High School Heisman, while earning the MVP for track. She also earned letters in softball, helping her team to the finals in the Southwest Games. She was named Rookie of the Year in softball. She recorded top times of 11.58 in the 100 meters and 24.90 in the 200 meters. She is the daughter of Tyron and Diane Patterson.
Wells attended Fontainebleau High School, where she was a three-year letterwinner for Coach Mike Matern. She recorded a personal-best 41'4" in the shot put. She received academic all-state honors. She is the daughter of Ira and Canta Wells.
Wommack attended Oak Grove High, where she was a letterwinner for Coach Robin Ryder. She also earned letters in basketball and volleyball. She recorded a season-best throw of 37'11" in the shot. She was named best defensive player in basketball and the most valuable thrower in track. She received the Johnny Booser Leadership Award. She is the daughter Dave and Leslie Wommack. Her father was a former football coach at Southern Miss.
Mitan was the 2007 champion in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.52.
Neal was a three-year letterwinner for Coach Larry Griggs at Lafayette Jefferson High School. He was voted his team's MVP, while competing in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles with times of 14.0 and 38.19. He is the son of Tammy Tate.
Williams attended Lutcher High School, where he competed in the javelin for Coach Tim Detillier. He was the state champion in the javelin in 2008, while receiving all-state honors in football and track. He recorded a personal best throw of 193'9". He is the son of Sherien and Errol Lovette and Albert Williams.