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Injuries aside, Jonesboro's Hampton ready for region meet

Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro junior S’kayia Hampton has the fourth-fastest time in the state this season in the 100-meters after running an 11.83 seconds last month at the Clayton County Championships.

Photo by Derrick Mahone Jonesboro junior S’kayia Hampton has the fourth-fastest time in the state this season in the 100-meters after running an 11.83 seconds last month at the Clayton County Championships.

At the beginning of the season, S’kayia Hampton was mostly watching and cheering for her Jonesboro teammates at track and field meets this spring.

Battling hamstring and quadriceps injuries reduced the junior sprinter to cheerleader status — a role to which she wasn’t accustomed.

“It was real disappointing not being able to run,” Hampton said after practice Tuesday afternoon. “I just came to the meets and watched the team. I tried to motivate them.”

With the injuries healed enough, Hampton competed in the county championships last month.

Any doubts that she wasn’t back in form were quickly removed when Hampton ran a personal-best 11.83 seconds in the 100 meters. It is the fourth-fastest time this season in the event, according to ga.milesplit.com.

Now, she is looking forward to the Region 4-AAAA Championships, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Twelve Oaks Stadium.

“I’m feeling real good,” Hampton said. “I’m definitely looking forward to running at region. At the beginning of the season, I was feeling like my season was already over because of the injuries. I really hate when I can’t run.”

At the county meet, she didn’t run in the 200 event. Jonesboro coach Tim Floyd held her out as a precaution. Her best time in that event this season was a 26.77 at the Gary Townsend Invitational, placing fifth.

Hampton’s best time in the 200 is 24.72, which she did in the preliminaries at last year’s state meet.

“Her 200 is not where it normally is, but she is getting healthy,” Floyd said. “It was frustrating for her to sit out those meets. At first, she didn’t understand and look at the bigger picture. We wanted her healthy for region, sectional and state. She was able to deal with the injuries. S’kayia is a pretty tough kid.”

At the region meet, Hampton will be battling longtime friend and rival Lorenda Holston of North Clayton. Holston, who also plays basketball, was runner-up at county in the 100 with a season-best time of 11.86, which is fifth in the state.

The two compete against each other on the summer track circuit and have been rivals since middle school. This season, they have met four times with each winning twice.

“She pushes me,” Hampton said. “I always look forward to racing her. If I don’t beat her, I know I will get my best time.”