Photos by Derrick Mahone / North Clayton’s Lorenda Holston (left) and Jonesboro’s S’Kayia Hampton have been competing against each other since middle school.

Photos by Derrick Mahone / North Clayton’s Lorenda Holston (left) and Jonesboro’s S’Kayia Hampton have been competing against each other since middle school.


North Clayton, Senior

On the track: Finished runner-up in the Class AAAA 100-meters last season with a time of 11.98. She was a member of the school’s basketball team and competes in the high jump event. Last November, she signed a track and field scholarship with Colorado State.

Pre-race routine: “I do a lot of stretching for about 25 minutes and then do some drills to stay loose. I listen to music before the race, mostly Drake and gospel. I listen to just about anything, but mostly gospel. It just depends on how I feel at the moment.”

Pre-race meal: “It varies from pasta to lasagna. Sometimes we go to Chili’s and I get their cajun chicken pasta if my mother doesn’t make lasagna.”

Most important part of race: “The start is definitely the biggest part of the race. I’m always the last to get into the blocks. My coach used to tell me to be the last in the block and first across the line, and that has always stuck with me.”

Why she likes being a sprinter: “I like the 100 because there is a lot of competition. In the 200 race, it is the curve.”

On S’Kayia Hampton: “I’ve been racing against her since we were in the seventh grade. She really pushes me. I still remember the first time we raced against each other in middle school. She won.”

Coach Dana Green on Holston: “She is a good kid and a wonderful athlete. I’ve been fortunate to coach her in three sports. She is a silent leader. Lo just goes out there and gets it done. I’m looking forward to her winning state this season.”

S’Kayia Hampton

Jonesboro, Senior

On the track: In an injury-plague season last year, she helped the Jonesboro 400-meters relay team to a fourth-place finish in Class AAAA.

Pre-race routine: “I always make sure that I stretch real good going to every race. I most definitely have to get my mind right and focus on the race. I sort of have my routine down so I don’t really think about what I need to do. In the past, I listen to music. I still do at times, but not for every race. If I listen to music, it will be gospel. The main thing I do before a race is pray. I always have to pray.”

Pre-race meal: “I mostly eat pineapples and green apples. It is the only thing that energizes me before a race.”

Most important part of race: “The start is always important in any race. Sometimes I get nervous, but I’ve realized that I have the ability to get the job done. I have to really clear my mind before each race. Sometimes I play the race out in my head, but other times I just try to stay focused. I always tell myself that I’m going to win.”

Why she likes being a sprinter: “It is the competition that you get from racing. I like going out there and competing and trying to help my team win. Everytime I get into a race, I want to win and score points for my team. My former middle school coach told me I should go out for track, I have liked it ever since I started running.”

On Lorenda Holston: “She is my competition. I really like going out and competing against Lorenda. I think we bring out the best in each other when we are on the track. We might run on the same summer team this summer.”

Coach Tangee Hardnett on Hampton: “S’Kayia is a great athlete. She has a lot of drive. Sometimes I have to remind her of how great she can be.”