Lady Eagles win state track championship

Published 3:03 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

James Baker has coached many girls and boys to individual state titles during his 43 years as a track and field coach. But the Prince Edward County High School varsity girls squad brought him something new this past weekend — his first team state championship.

“It was nice, and I enjoyed it,”

The Lady Eagles scored 74 points to place first out of 32 scoring teams in the Virginia High School League Class 1 and Class 2 State Indoor Track and Field Championship at Roanoke College in Salem Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29.

“I knew going in that there was a chance, but it would take everything coming together,” Baker said. “We had an off day at the regional track meet when we finished as runners-up, so I saw a couple things we needed to work on — getting Haniyyah (Johnson) on the board in the long jump (and) getting Makayla (Morris) a good week of work.”

He said the girls did those things, and things worked out.

Morris, a senior, and Johnson, a junior, produced outstanding performances.

“Between the two of them, they actually scored enough points to have won the meet,” Baker said.

Morris and Johnson combined for 61 points, while the second-place team, Bruton High School, scored 58.

There were only seven Lady Eagles competing.

“To only have that little bit of people and to do what we did, it just meant a lot,” Morris said.

She won the high jump with a 5-foot-4-inch leap. It was her fifth high jump state title, having earned three in outdoor track and now two in indoor track.

She also won the triple jump with a 35-11 result, which was a personal record (PR). She placed second in the long jump, fourth in the 55-meter hurdles, and she was part of the 4×200-meter relay team that placed fourth.

Johnson won the long jump with a 17-9 leap, which was a PR, and she won the 55-meter dash with a 7.46-second time. She also was second with a PR in the shot put, and she ran a leg of the 4×200-meter relay team.

Freshman Saye Woodard’s PR was good for fifth in the 500-meter dash, and she ran a leg of the 4×400-meter relay team that place fifth.

Senior Naomi Jones ran a leg of the 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams. Sophomore Shania Jennings ran a leg of the 4×200, while the other two girls comprising the 4×400 were junior Kiera Walker and freshman Laila Jones.

The Prince Edward varsity boys indoor track and field team placed third out of 41 scoring teams.

Junior Jarvin Perkins placed second in the triple jump with a PR, seventh in the long jump, and he ran a leg of the Eagles’ fifth-place 4×200-meter relay team. He was joined on the relay team by seniors Abdul Johnson, Tivonte Robinson and Deontray Woodson.

Junior Reshaud Brown was second in the long jump with a PR.

Abdul Johnson was fourth in the long jump, junior Hayat Khan was fourth in the 1,600-meter run with a PR, and sophomore Tim Slater was eighth in the 1,600.