The Jefferson Middle School girls track and field team finished as state runner-up in a first-ever state track and field meet for middle schools in Clarksville on Saturday. The girls team finished second in two events and third in another.
The Jefferson Middle School team of Katie Swigert, Aaliyah Hall, Grace Wilson, and Khamari Mitchell finished second in the 4×400-meter relay, Coach Bill Byas said. And Muskan Vohra finished second in the girls 800-meter run and third in the 1,600-meter run.
The girls team earned enough points to finish as state runner-up. The JMS boys team finished eighth.
It was the first state track and field meet for Class A and Class AA middle schools. It was held Saturday, May 21, at Austin Peay University in Clarksville.
“I expected a great outcome because they worked so hard all season long,” Byas said. “We’ve been going at it since February, and these kids have just consistently improved.”
The girls 4×100-meter relay team finished fourth. That team includes Swigert, Mitchell, Rylie Dickens, and Misty Greenhalgh.
Dickens, a sixth-grader, also finished eighth in the high jump.
Carson Hope finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the discus. While Vohra was the “point-getter” for the girls, Hope was for the boys.
Byas said Hope fouled twice in the discus, and his best throws went out of bounds.
“He’s been winning for us all year long,” Byas said. “He’s a competitor.”
Rebecca Joyal finished fourth in the girls 400-meter dash for the Eagles.
Here are some other results:
- Jessie Strader was fifth in the girls 800-meter run.
- The boys 4×400-meter relay team finished fifth. That team includes Demarcus Wright, Cadon McCullah, Minnwoo Kim, and Carson Hope.
- The boys 4×200-meter relay team was sixth. That team includes McCullah, Kim, Wright, and Matthew Swigert.
- Cade Young was 10th in the high jump.
Vaughn Coleman, a seventh-grader, had the fastest time in all sectionals in the 200-meter dash and was ranked number one going into Saturday’s meet, Byas said. But he got off to a slow start and was nervous.
Coleman finished seventh in the 200-meter dash and 10th in the 100-meter dash.
“It was a learning experience for him,” Byas said. “He’ll be back next year.”
The Eagles qualified for the state meet at a middle school sectional track meet in Greeneville on May 9. The boys and girls teams both won the sectionals, Byas said.
Jefferson is a Class A school. There are about 47 schools in Class A, and only some of those schools qualified for the state track meet, said Byas, who is also a sixth-grade science teacher.
The competition was strong at the state meet, Byas said. The boys might have finished third in the 4×400-meter relay, but they dropped the baton on the third leg.
Track and field team members were nervous in the huge stadium, which was filled with many teams, but they rose to the occasion, Byas said.
“They did it,” he said. Almost everyone finished with personal records, he said.
He said a really strong team from Memphis, Memphis Bellevue Middle School, finished first in the girls competition.
Most of the JMS athletes are eighth-graders. But there are four seventh-graders (Misty Greenhalgh, Matthew Swigert, Khamari Mitchell, and Vaughn Coleman) and one sixth-grader (Rylie Dickens).
The JMS track and field team’s assistant coaches are Steve Reddick (distance) and Brian Wilson (throw coach).
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