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Local athlete wins two track titles

Photo by Rebecca Long

Photo by Rebecca Long

By Diane Glidewell

dglidewell@myjpa.com

Anyone who follows Jackson High School sports knows that Jasmine Smith is fast. Those in Region 4AAA who have had to compete against her in track, basketball, or softball have quickly learned how fast she can move from one point to another.

This weekend, Smith took it to the next level by winning two State Championship titles at the Girls Track & Field Meet in Albany.

With a time of 11.79 seconds in the 100-meter dash and a time of 24.03 seconds in the 200-meter dash, Smith handily defeated 15 other region winners and runners-up in each event at Hugh Mills Stadium to claim the top spots on the podium in the AAA division. In fact, her times were the second best among all runners in the state, divisions A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA. Her performances in both the qualifying heats and finals met the national silver standard.

"Jasmine is the first female from Jackson to win a State Championship," said Head JHS Track Coach Eddie Snell. "She puts in extra work on her own, before, after, and during practice. She is always working hard to get better."

In addition to her successes in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints, Smith also represented Jackson High School in the shot put and placed in the top 10 in AAA. About two weeks before the 4AAA region meet, she picked up a shot put with the boy throwers and threw 36 feet. Since the top girl thrower in the region was throwing 32 feet, Coach Snell asked Smith to compete in the event in the region meet. She placed first and earned herself an invitation to compete in the field event at the State Meet as well as her two running events.

Smith is a junior at Jackson High School. She has used her speed for the last three years to the advantage of the Lady Devils basketball team, as she sprints down the court, and as an asset to the Lady Devils softball team. In the summers, she competes in Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the U.S.A. track events.

Her goal for next year is to break the state records in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. The current 100-meter record is 11.31 seconds, and the 200-meter record is just under 24 seconds.

"She has a chance to make history again by winning back-to-back State Championships, and I look for her to bring her team along with her," said Coach Snell. "We have a lot to be proud of. Everyone roots for her because of her character. It couldn't happen to a better person."

Other runners from Region 4AAA who placed at State included Chikima Brantley of Mary Persons who finished seventh in the 100-meter at 12.59 seconds and Stanariel Phinazee of Spalding who finished eighth in the 200-meter dash at 25.6.

Smith is the daughter of Linda Sims and Michael Smith, and the granddaughter of Mildred Sims and Juanita Smith.