Coleman, Johns lead BHS track

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 3, 2004

On the track or in the field, Brookhaven standouts Jimmy Johnsand Kenyatta Coleman are among the best in the Magnolia State. Theyhave been instrumental in leading the Panthers and Lady Panthers toa series of victories this spring.

Johns, a multi-talented junior, has excelled in the hurdles,shot put, discus and relay events. Coleman, a runner who has signeda track scholarship with Ole Miss, makes her best showings in the100, 200 and 400-meter races plus the relays.

They will lead Brookhaven’s title hopes in this Saturday’s Class4A South Mississippi meet at Biloxi. Brookhaven’s girls are freshfrom winning the Division 6-4A and Region 3-4A meets. The Pantherswere runners-up in the division and sixth in the regional.

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“Kenyatta is a hard worker,” said BHS track coach Patrick Hardy.”She is rich in talent and speed.”

Coleman has posted times of 12.2 seconds in the 100, 24.5 in the200 and 56.7 in the 400. She also anchors the 3 Ole Brook relayteams.

“I like to do the relays best,” said Coleman, a 5-foot-1speedster. “The 200 is my favorite individual race. It’s not aslong as the 400 or as short as the 100.”

Coleman said Brookhaven’s 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams are amongthe best in the state. Also passing the baton are Alicia Hawkins,Shalecia Trunner and Joanna McDaniel.

Trunner won the 100-meter hurdles last weekend in the regional.She was second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.

Another Lady Panther, Sinetra Rivers, won the high jump and the300-meter hurdles. Tamara Stovall was a strong finisher in the 300hurdles, placing third.

Hardy and assistant coach Rod Henderson saw their boys finishsecond to McComb in the division meet. Last Saturday, Johns won the110-meter hurdles in 14.7 and the discus. He has a personal bestdiscus throw of 165 feet this season. In the shot put, Johns hasheaved the 12-pound iron ball 49-8. However, he failed to qualifyin the shot put last weekend.

Johns also runs the third leg of the 4×200-meter relay.

“Jimmy is a real competitor,” said Hardy. “You can put him atany thing and he will do well.”

Johns (6-3, 225) spends part of his afternoon working atquarterback with the football team since spring practice began lastThursday. He earned all-district and all-state recognition lastseason after leading the Panthers to the division title. He wasrecognized as Most Valuable Offensive Player on The DAILY LEADER’sAll-Lincoln County Football Team.

Asked about his favorite event, Johns said, “My favorite isprobably the 100 hurdles. It really takes an athlete to run themand you get a rush from the crowd. Everyone comes to track meetsfor the running events.”

While the discus and shot put are held in a distant corner ofthe track area, Johns continues to excel, displaying strength andcoordination.

“Running track kind of reminds me of football,” said Johns. “Thecrowd is cheering. All of our relay team members are on thefootball team.”

The Panthers have one of the state’s best times in the 4x100relay. Ronnie McNulty, Anthony Caffie, Taurean Jones and LakendrickWilliams are members of that relay team.

Also running Saturday for the Panthers are Bud Chatman, RodneyDaniels and James Draper. Last week Draper was second in the400-meter run.

“Track is an individual thing,” said Johns. “But it becomes ateam effort to win state. We are all part of the team.”