By Guest Columnist April Williams
The MAIS AAAA East Rankin Academy (ERA) Patriot Track & Field teams have the concluded the regular season. State qualifications have begun and ERA has a number of standouts. Here is a wrap-up.
The varsity and junior varsity teams kicked off the 2021 track season in February with successful meets at Pearl High School, Canton Academy, and Madison Ridgeland Academy. The team had their first breakout performances participating in the Gulf Coast Classic invitational in Biloxi, where the varsity girls won the 4x800 relay setting a new school record and MAIS 4A overall season high of 10:33.67. Patriot senior, Kelly Boydston, also won varsity girls high jump in Biloxi with a jump of 5’0”. Eighth grader, Audrey Mayatte, took third in both the varsity 1600 meter and 3200-meter individual races.
Mississippi MileSplit, the entity that manages state track entries, scheduling, and rankings, has been impressed with the teams development, stating that track fans need to keep an eye out for “small school ERA… those girls are showing a lot of bigger schools up this season.” True to form, the team repeated their varsity girls relay success at the Rankin County championships winning the 4x800 relay with a time of 10:43.74, facing off against Pearl, Northwest Rankin and Brandon varsity girls. The team also placed third in the 4x400 with a time of 4:44.06 and sixth grader, Leah Collipp, took third in the varsity 1600 meter.
Individual success has been found this season with all athletes setting personal records including new overall school records set by Lydia Collipp in the 800 meter with a time of 2:40.43 and Audrey Mayatte in both the 1600 meter with a time of 5:57.01 and 3200 meter with a 13:09.51.
Collectively, the East Rankin Academy varsity and junior varsity girls and boys are well ranked as they prepare for district competition. The following varsity athletes and teams are ranked in the top ten of their respective events in MAIS 4A rankings: Eli Bowman (4th pole vault); Caleb Leach (1stdiscus,); Kelly Boydston (1st high jump, 6th long jump); Leah Collipp (3rd 800m, 4th 1600m, 4th 3200m); Lydia Collipp (8th200m, 2nd 400m, 7th 300 hurdles, 1st 800m, 5th 1600m); Audrey Mayatte (7th 400m, 3rd 1600m, 6th 3200m); Abby Raines (8th800m); Kaylynn Ramirez (10th 3200m); Brooke Renfroe (4thhigh jump); Lesley Scarberry (9th 200m); Skyler Simmons (8thshot put); Katie Simpson (10th 110 hurdles); 9th Girls 4x100 relay; 8th Girls 4x200 relay; 3rd Girls 4x400 relay; and 1st Girls 4x800 relay.
Junior varsity top ten rankings include: Colin Harris (4th 400m, 8th 300 hurdles, 5th high jump); Colton Goolsby (8th 1600m, 8thtriple jump); Michael Kanengiser (4th 800m, 10th 1600m); R.T. Tate (9th 3200m); Brayden Warner (9th 100m, 3rd discus, 1st shot put); Liam Wilkerson (9th 800m, 5th long jump); Preston Wofford (9th long jump); 4th boys 4x100 relay; 4th boys 4x400 relay; 5th4x800 relay; Jensen Baker (8th discus); Brooke Cooper (3rd shot put); Addison Derrick (9th shot put); Rosa Garcia (9th 200m); Makenzie Phillips (5th shot put); Abby Raines (1st high jump); Lesley Scarberry (3rd 200m, 9th 400m); Katie Simpson (8th triple jump); Rachel Smith (10th 800m); Savannah Smithers (6th 100 hurdles, 5th 300 hurdles); Katie Tadlock (7th 800m); Allison Thompson (9th 200m, 8th long jump, 7th triple jump); Maury Ann Walley (10th discus); 5th girls 4x100 relay; 4th girls 4x200 relay; 2nd girls 4x400 relay; and 7th girls 4x800 relay.
Head Coach David Hopper continues to build the program at ERA as the young athletes continue to train and earn new personal records with each competitive outing. “Our team has worked hard to achieve what we have but there is still work to be done,” stated Hopper.