Senior Sendoff: Madison Ridgeland Academy's Kennedi Sanders

LINK: Senior Sendoff Google Form


This week in the MileSplit Mississippi Senior Sendoff series, we are sending off one of the best in Mississippi high school track and field history, and that is the indoor and outdoor 400m state record holder, Kennedi Sanders!

Sanders was a part of the 2022 graduating class at Madison Ridgeland Academy, and will be joining Louisiana State University down in Baton Rouge, La in the Fall, the No. 5 ranked women's track and field team in NCAA Division I. 

As we all may know, LSU, a Division I school that competes in the Southeastern Conference, is a sprints powerhouse, especially on the women's side. Some notable alumni of the Lady Tigers Track and Field program include Aleia Hobbs, Sha'Carri Richardson, Mikiah Brisco, and many more. 

In the 2022 track and field season, they had squad rankings (the average of a team's top four performers) in the sprints of 11.20 in the 100m, 22.76 in the 200m, and 53.23 in the 400m. Their 200m ranking is currently No. 2 in the NCAA, their 100m sits at No. 3 in the NCAA, and their 400m squad is ranked No. 10 in the NCAA. 

Their 4x100m and 4x400m will be competing at the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene Ore., as well as sending eight individuals to compete in the women's 100m dash, 100mH, 200m dash, and 400m dash. 

What outstanding accomplishments from the Lady Tigers, and Sanders will likely fit right in. 

Credits: LSU Track and Field Facebook

Sanders currently has PR's on the track of 11.35 in the 100m, 23.05 in the 200m, and 52.62 in the 400m. As we all may know, Sander's 400m PR came from the high-caliber 2021 Brooks Invitational in which she won in a state-record time, taking down 2020 Olympics Trials qualifier Roisin Willis

In her 2022 track campaign, Sanders has not lost a single event, winning 16 straight races ranging from 100 to 400 meters, which are exactly the events that she will be focusing on once she joins the Lady Tigers. 

Over the span of her career, Sanders has racked up eight outdoor state titles individually, as well as three USATF national titles. 

On the side of academics, Sanders will be majoring in Business Real Estate a Career track that prepares students for lucrative and rewarding career paths in brokerage/sales, development, property management, asset management, private investment, and many other paths within this field.

We asked Sanders some questions and insight in regards to her high school career, what she loves about running, and some advice that she would leave behind to all of the track and field athletes that are still on their journey. 

Check them out below!


Q: Explain your 'running journey'... (How did you get into running, how did your senior season go, and how did you get connected with the college that you are going to?)

A: I got into running when I was in the 2nd grade and my PE teacher would go to the middle school to get boys to come run against me. Whenever I would win, he would always tell me I need to do track, and that's where my track life came from.

Even though my senior season isn't over yet, it was very different. I had more one-on-one time with myself this year when it came to the track.

LSU was always my dream school since I was little but when meeting the athletes and the coaches I knew this school spoke to me. 

Q: What is your most memorable meet/race and why?

A: My most memorable race would have to be running with my sister Bethany in the 4x400m relay. She would always be first and I was always the last leg, that's where we got the name sanders sisters from. I miss running with my sister, but trust me, we always run together in practice. 

Q: Out of all your high school achievements, which one means the most to you and why?

A: The one that means the most to me would have to be brooks PR. It was my first actual big 400-meter meet and I was so nervous, my legs were noodles, but I remember God telling me I will be with you the whole race. Not only did I win, but God let me PR and I will never forget that meet. 

Q: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

A: I would change how brave I was, that I would be okay if sometimes you had to walk your path alone because God is with you. Some things others wanted may not be for you and that's okay, no one is the same all the way down to your fingerprint. 

Q: Who is somebody that you look up to/someone that helped you along your journey to get you where you are today?

A: Someone that helped me along the way would have to be my sister Bethany. She was able to turn something that most people would have given up on into a goal that she was able to fulfill. I will always remember how hard she worked not only in track, but in school as well. Now, she has all kinds of awards. So when I feel like giving up, I remember you can stop and just exist through life, or you can just choose another path and live life as Bethany did

Q: What will you miss the most?

I'll miss the fun times I had with my team. Even though I'm going to build new ones, I will always remember the ones that were made at the MRA track. 

Q: What piece of advice would you give to the younger athletes that are just getting started on their journey?

A: If God made one dream for everyone then it wouldn't be a dream. Live your own dream because it may seem too small or too big, but to God, it's what he created you for.