Talk of the Town: One of the Deepest Weeks Ever

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Girl's Jumps Light Up With New State Leads

It seems that every corner of track and field was on fire this week, and the jumpers were no exception. We saw amazing performances in the long jump, triple jump, and high jump, including two new state leads.

In the high jump, Carmella Coulter of Ocean Springs tied the state lead with her leap of 5'4" at the Foley Lions Invitational. Coulter has been on a hot streak this season and a quick glance at her profile will show you she has made some serious improvements already this year. If she can keep progressing at this rate, she will no doubt be a contender at this year's state championships for the high jump title.

Over in the sand pits, the long jump crew brought on another state lead. At the PCS Invitational 3, Alice Pennebaker flew to a massive mark of 18'2" for a 5-inch personal best. She also holds impressive marks in the triple jump and 400m race, making her a serious threat at this year's MAIS championship.

In the triple jump, Charve Gibson of Jefferson County High School threw down one of the top jumps in the nation. This freshman talent leaped a 38'10" for an MS#2 in the triple jump to secure the victory. In the national rankings, she is now the No. 1 freshman in the entire country for this event. But don't be mistaken, Gibson's talent doesn't just expire in the triple jump. She is also nationally ranked for her performances in the long jump and 100m hurdles. 

Boys 3200m Compeititon Ramps Up

Over the weekend, the boy's 3200m rankings took a serious jump with three new marks. Many of the athlete's top distance runners had breakthrough weekends that propelled them up the rankings.

At the FSU Relays, Jaquavion Bryant took to the 3200m and threw down a new personal best of 9:27 for an MS#1. This is the 5th fastest time in Mississippi history for the 3200m race and is yet another accolade to add to Bryant's resume.

At the NMMC Relays, Colin Brannon and Taylor Brown worked together and produced one of the fastest 3200m races on Mississippi soil this year. Brannon ramped up a decisive kick over the last 800m and came away with the victory in 9:29 and the second-fastest time in the state this year. This time ranks him as the 6th fastest time in Mississippi history. Brown followed behind him with a time of 9:35 for a new personal best.

Pearl Makes History in 4x800 Race

Pearl High School has once again made history with its unstoppable distance squad. At the FSU Relays, they broke the Mississippi state record by 16 seconds and won one of the most stacked 4x800m races in the country. 

There seems to be no barrier that this team can't break and this record seems almost unbelievable. There is still lots of season left and this squad could strike again to re-break their own record. Their time of 7:50 ranks them 3rd in the country and within four seconds of a national lead. 

Andrew Brown Time Trials 9:22 in the 3200m 

Despite being recently ruled ineligible for the 2024 season, Andrew Brown of Tupelo High School still had to prove that he is the best 3200m runner in the state. Brown was entered to run the 3200m at NMMC Relays but was barred from competition on March 21st, just two days before the meet. He decided to run a solo time trial the morning of the meet and see where his fitness lies. 

Running into harsh headwinds and competing against only himself, Brown dropped an astounding 9:22 for the 3200m race. This was a 20-second personal best for him and would rank him as the 4th fastest freshman in the nation. Not only that, but it would also place him comfortably as the fastest-time in Mississippi this year.

Segroves and Hendon Continue Pole Vault Dominance

Over the weekend, we saw the state lead fall for both the girl's and boy's pole vault. 

At the Foley Lions Invitational, Julie Segroves of Biloxi High School extended her state lead by 4 inches with her season best of 13'4". This vault ties her for 2nd in the country and is only 4 inches away from her all-time personal best. Segroves is a generational talent in the pole vault event and has shown non-stop growth over the last few years. In case you're wondering just how dominant she is, just take a look at her performances in the last two years. She has competed at 40 different competitions and has only lost three times. Competing in Mississippi, she has not lost in the pole vault since her 2nd-place finish at the 2022 MHSAA State Championships.

On the guy's side, Trace Hendon of Madison-Ridgeland Academy secured himself a comfortable lead with his impressive vault at the Twilight VaultWith a mark of 14'2" and an 8-inch personal best, Hendon has broken off from his competition. He also now holds his school record and will be a force to be reckoned with at the MAIS championships this year.

Giles and Rodgers Break 48 in the 400m

Ever since the beginning of this season, the 400m race has been a dogfight between Cooper Rodgers and Howard Banks. However, after this weekend we seem to have a new competitor in the mix. 

Damari Giles of Oxford High School ran a massive personal best in the 400m at the NMMC Relays. Coming through with a blazing 47.10 for the victory and a new MS#1. Giles is now ranked 13th in the nation and holds the 6th fastest time in Mississippi history.

Just days before, Cooper Rodgers of Raymond High School took to the 400m at the 3rd Annual Hinds County Championship. With a dominant victory and new season personal best, Rodgers clocked a 47.95 to squeeze under the 48-second mark. 

Kaitlyn Burge Smashes 3200m State Lead

At the Desoto County Championship, Kaitlyn Burge of Hernando High School proved that she is still the distance queen. Burge won the 3200m race by an entire minute and clocked an 11:08 for a new MS#1 by almost 30 seconds.

In the Mississippi Milesplit Rankings, Burge holds the state lead in the 800m and 3200m races. It is only a matter of time now before she takes to the 1600m race and grabs another Mississippi lead.