As we kick off another exciting edition of MileSplit Mississippi's Talk of the Town Tuesday, the south indeed faced inclement weather that has swept across our state, bringing a winter storm that has forced the closure of numerous schools and universities. While the snowfall has undoubtedly cast a frosty spell on our schedules, it also had a chilling effect on the second section of the Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic, ultimately leading to its cancellation. Consequently, we missed out on witnessing several schools competing over the weekend.
However, despite the weather-induced setbacks, some noteworthy performances from the first section of the meet still deserve recognition.
Let's dive into these highlights and celebrate the resilience of our local athletes who braved the elements to make their mark on the track.
Julie Segroves Keeps Winning Streak Alive in a Nailbiter
Biloxi High's Pole Vault phenom Julie Segroves continued her winning streak in her specialty event at the first section of the Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic on Monday, January 15, in Birmingham, Alabama.
The junior from Biloxi cleared 12-6 and won in a jump-off against Atlanta, Georgia's Madison Townsend, a junior from Westminister. This performance marks Segroves' third consecutive win this season, and she has only one recorded loss in the last 365 days.
With each performance, Julie Segroves reaffirms her status as a pole vault powerhouse, leaving us all eagerly anticipating what she'll conquer next.
**8:13 AM, Jan. 17: It has been confirmed that there was a mix-up in results, and Segroves just got second on misses**
Sophie Santucci Debuts with Stunning 800m and 1-mile Victories.
Sophie Santucci of Tupelo High School, the reigning 6A State Champion for the 1600m, has begun her Indoor Track Season with groundbreaking times and finishes. At the Emory Crossplex Showdown, she cruised to a dominant 800m win, coming through the line in 2:20. With this mark she is now 1st in the 800m for the Mississippi indoor girls rankings.
After an already stellar performance, she doubled in the mile for another win with a time of 5:08. Using the Milesplit conversion tool, Santucci's 5:08 mile is equivalent to a 5:06 1600m, which places her in 1st for the Mississippi girl's 1600m rankings by a full 15 seconds.
One thing to note from Santucci's impressive double is that her opponents were mostly college athletes, and she still came away with the win in both events. Furthermore, her times don't just push her up the 2024 Indoor rankings but also the Mississippi all-time rankings. In the indoor 800m and 1 mile, she is now ranked 4th and 6th all-time, respectively.
RANKINGS: Mississippi HS Girls All-Time 800m List
With this being her first race of the 2024 track season, she is already on pace to shatter her personal bests. Santucci's 2:20 800m was only one second off of her outdoor record in that event, and her 1-mile conversion of 5:06 is just two seconds off of her outdoor best as well. Sophie Sanntucci is starting the year off right where she left off and quickly is setting the bar high in the girl's distance running scene.
The Depth of Mississippi Girls Middle Distance
In addition to Santucci, the senior sensation from Tupelo, several other formidable athletes made their mark in the middle-distance events. Jackson Prep's Olivia Smith, Biloxi's Emerson Yelverton, and East Rankin's Audrey Mayatte, all established middle-distance powerhouses, stormed onto the scene by breaking the 2:30 barrier in their 2024 debut.
Despite the icy obstacles that Mother Nature threw their way, these athletes displayed the fiery determination that defines Mississippi's track and field spirit, promising an electrifying season ahead.
Written by: Chris Webber(Editor) and Bennett Ferguson