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- The following article appeared in the Charlotte Observer Friday - May 22, 1987:

Oxendine Making Own Mark

By Herb White, Special Correspondent

Jamie Oxendine is on a mission.

For four years, Oxendine, an East Mecklenburg distance runner, has heard the comparisons between herself and Joan Nesbit, an East graduate and former track all-America at North Carolina.

She doesn't mind the debate, but she is out to make her own mark as her high school career winds down.

Oxendine, who will run in today's 2 p.m. boys and girls regionals at Myers Park, said she hears the comparisons "by a coach occasionally. I think it's a very good compliment. Joan's an excellent runner, but I've got a lot of room for improvement."

After a slow start in which she lost twice to teammate Leslie McCaskill in the 800 meters, Oxendine has been hot, blazing past the competition in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. She also runs on the Eagles' 1,600-meter relay team and does a little high jumping on the side.

Oxendine, who has some of the year's best times, also placed seventh in last year's girls' cross-country meet.

"In all honesty, I think she is the most versatile athlete we've ever had at East," said Larry McAffee, who coached Nesbit and Oxendine.

Improvement has been stady for Oxendine since she started running six years ago.

"In our neighborhood, I had a friend, Tamera Jarrett, who was real athletic," she said. "We would race and would bet on who would win."

At East Mecklenburg, the comparisons between Oxendine and Nesbit were inevitable. Both dominated the distance races with the same characteristics, McAfee said.

A four-time Southwestern 4A performer, Oxendine is trying to decide which college to attend. She said the choices have been narrowed to North Carolina and UNC-Wilmington.

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