Harris Makes CHS History

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, June 25, 2015

While many high schoolers are just trying to pass classes, Cumberland High School’s Annesha Harris is breaking records. Not only did Harris set three state records in track and field this year; she also won three individual state titles in one season — the first time that’s happened in CHS history for any athlete, male or female.

To her accomplishments, Harris adds signing a letter of intent to attend Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky., where she will be a Blue Raider track and field athlete. The college’s track and field team is a Division I program in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Mid-South Conference.

“I don’t know how to explain how I feel. But, it is exciting,” Harris said.

Email newsletter signup

Harris claimed her first-place titles and state records at the Virginia High School League (VHSL) 1A State Track and Field Championships at Radford University in early June. She won in long jump with a length of 18 feet and 5½ inches, 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.15 seconds and 300-meter hurdles with a time of 47.09 seconds. She also placed fourth in the triple jump with a length of 33 feet, 6 inches and fourth in the 4×400-meter relay team event. Her team completed the relay in 4 minutes, 25 seconds.

“I didn’t actually see myself winning three individual events. My heart was set on two, but it just happened that way,” Harris said.

Harris said she skipped some regular-season meets, saying, “I didn’t compete at some meets during the regular season because I didn’t want to risk injuring myself before regionals. Of course, I came to each meet to cheer on my team though. I tried to help them by encouraging them and being like a coach by helping them do what they had to do.”

Cumberland High School’s Annesha Harris jumps over a hurdle at the VHSL 1A Track and Field Championships. (Photo by Cumberland Athletics)

Cumberland High School’s Annesha Harris jumps over a hurdle at the VHSL 1A Track and Field Championships. (Photo by Cumberland Athletics)

This wasn’t the first season Harris had won a state title. In CHS’ 2014 spring season, Harris took first in the girls 100-meter hurdles.

“Winning four state championship (titles) in two years is a major accomplishment for Annesha and our athletic program,” CHS Athletic Director Alfonso Bell said. “Annesha and I had a talk after last year’s championship. I spoke with her about what it was going to take to repeat as a champion. She listened and came back this spring and worked hard. She will be missed by all of us here at CHS, but she knows that she has our support while she goes into her college track career.”

With her high school days behind her, Harris is looking forward to her athletic career at Lindsey Wilson. However, she says that she will never forget the man who helped her reach this point in her life: her high school track and field coach.

“Coach (Kenneth) Jasey is not just my coach; he is like a father to me. He has helped me through everything to where he is actually the man who made me become who I am. He helped me reach states and he motivated me to reach things I couldn’t see myself doing in this sport. I appreciate him for that,” Harris said.

Jasey reflected on Harris as a player, saying, “I would not say she is the best or greatest ever from Cumberland, because it is unfair to compare the past and present. Yet, she is the best I’ve coached at Cumberland.”