Mississippi Indoor Track and Field: 2022 MLK Preview


Javarius Molden

School: Hattiesburg High School 

Event(s): 60mH, 400m, LJ

Last Meet: 60mH - 8.48 PR | 400m - 53.22 PR | LJ - 21-8 PR

Setting the tone in the high school boys recap is much like teammate Drummond - VERY Versatile. The athlete I am referring to is none other than Hattiesburg's Javarius Molden. Molden just had a HUGE weekend at his last meet, the 2022 Icebreaker Invitationalwhere he went home with, not just one, but three new lifetime PR's! Molden is again slated to compete in those same three disciplines this week at MLK, where he will potentially climb even higher on the Mississippi Indoor High School Boys All-time List!

Derrick Bennett

School: Biloxi High School

Event: 400m

Last Meet: 60m - 7.35 PR | 400m - 51.51 PR

Also mirroring the girls, the 2nd athlete we will be talking about in the high school boys recap is Biloxi High School's 400-meter specialist. That athlete is none other than the 2021 MHSAA 6A 400-meter runner-up, Derrick Bennett! Last weekend at the Icebreaker Invitational was Bennett's first-ever time to run an indoor race - I would say that he definitely exceeded expectations as he came away with a very solid time of 51.51 in the 400m, as well as a 7.35 60m. Last year at his season opener, Bennett opened up with a 55.15. Like I stated in my podcast last week, it is clear that Bennett wants a better finish than 2nd at this year's state meet, and we can see that he has been grinding on the track in the offseason. 

Corvin Johnson

School: Pearl High School

Event: 60m, 400m

Last Meet: N/A - Indoor Season Debut

Making his indoor season debut and another extremely versatile track athlete - perhaps the most valuable in the state - is Pearl High School's, Corvin Johnson! As you can see, even with Johnson's two entries of the 60m and 400m, it is clear that he can just about do it all. If he wanted to, he could probably throw down a fast time in the 60-meter hurdles as well. 

An event that I am especially excited about for Johnson is the 400-meter dash, an event that he usually does not opt to run indoors, but is going in as the #1 seed. Johnson has an outdoor 400m PR of 49.03... could he break the 49-second barrier at the MLK Classic? Towards the end of last year's outdoor season, Johnson was going through a little bit of injury, so it will be thrilling to see him in full force against some of Alabama's heavy hitters. 

De'Vaunce Norman

School: Hattiesburg High School

Event: 400m, TJ, LJ, PV

Last Meet: N/A - Indoor Season Debut

Right when we thought the Norman reign in MHSAA 5A was over, De'Vaunce Norman, the little brother of jumps legend Camrun Norman, decided he has some shoes to fill. As you can see in his entries, Norman is yet another versatile athlete from Hattiesburg that is going to test his limits in almost every field event at MLK this week. He is an MHSAA 5A State qualifier in all three of the field events he is contesting in, and he might as well snag a PR in the 400m this weekend as well. I'm sure Norman wouldn't enter in all of these events if he wasn't fit, and I can't to wait to see how he will pull it all off. 

Pearl High School Cross Country Squad

Members: Tanner Moore, Brendan Clark, Javien Davis, Dominic Turner, Farren Oberto, Jaquavion Bryant

Event(s): 800m, 1600m, 3200m

Last Meet: N/A - Indoor Season Debut

We couldn't pick just one out, so we decided to get their whole team! Making their indoor season debut, and for some of them, making their indoor career debut, is the very deep Pearl High School distance squad!

In this squad, we have 1:59 800m runners Javien Davis and Dominic Turner competing in the 800m, Tanner Moore and Brendan Clark in the 1600m, and Farren Oberto and Jaquavion Bryant entered in the 3200m. Davis and Turner were both a part of the 2021 MHSAA 6A State Championship in the 800m, where Turner finished runner-up to current Ole Miss distance runner Chase Rose, and Davis finished 5th overall. Both have made enormous improvements on the grass this past cross country season, and it will be very exciting to see how that translates over to the 800m for these two middle-distance studs. 

Tanner Moore, the sophomore, is finally coming back on the racing circuit after unfortunately having to cut his cross country season short due to injury. Moore is slated to run in his specialty event, the 1600m. The last time Moore ran the 1600m was when he went 4:40 a freshman at the 2021 MHSAA 6A State Championships, and he ran his current PR of 4:36 a week before at South State. Moore will be joined by teammate and current sophomore Brendan Clark, another freshman phenom who went 2:04 his freshman season in track and just recently ran 16:54 in the 5k at the 2021 MHSAA 6A Cross Country State Championships. All that to say, he too has some newfound strength endurance that should translate very well in the 1600m. 

Finally, we have the long-distance specialist of Farren Oberto and Jaquaveon Bryant running in the 3200m, seeded as a pair of 10:15's and are the #6 and #7 seeds overall. These 2, just like the rest of this Pearl XC team, had a stellar cross country season where they showed some great improvement from their 2020 cross country season. Especially Oberto, the freshman, who started the season running a 15:32 4k and ended it running 16:45 in the 5k. Bryant, also a freshman, ran 16:55 during the 2021 season. The fastest runner in the field has gone 9:53, and I think the pair could definitely be in the conversation and potentially in contention for the win.