Ole Brook track and field relies on relays to win boys’, girls’ state titles

Published 11:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2024

The Brookhaven High School girl’s track and field team has ruled the MHSAA 5A ranks for three straight years now as the team recently won its third consecutive state title. The BHS boys’ team also captured the 2024 state title, their second in three years.

The teams have a deep roster of talent and put forth competitors in nearly every event at the state championship level.

One area where the teams have excelled is in the relay races and the 2024 state title meet was no different. In crushing the competition last weekend in Pearl, the girls’ team won the 4×400 and 4×800 relay races along with finishing second in the 4×200 relay.

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On the boys’ side of the competition, the 4×100 relay team from BHS captured first place, edging out North Pike by nine-tenths of a second. The 4×400 boys’ relay team also got third in their event for the Panthers.


Jasmine Robertson gives senior leadership for girls’ relay groups

The 4×400 team was made up of the senior trio of Jasmine Robertson, Chrisiyona Quarles and Sierra Edwards along with freshman Jaysha Johnson.

Robertson was a versatile piece of the puzzle for the BHS coaching staff. She also ran in the 4×800 relay along with eighth-grader Brooklyn Lenoir, junior Ariyana Graham and freshman Isabella Iles.

“The teamwork aspect is what I enjoy the most about running a relay,” said Robertson. “Just knowing that you’ve got someone else depending on you to get the job done is what gives you the motivation to run even harder.”

The 4×400 team won in dominating fashion, beating Pontotoc High by five seconds. The 4×800 team was also strong at the finish line, beating Corinth High by four seconds.

Iles runs the anchor leg of the 4×800 relay. She enjoys getting the chance to run down the oppos-ing team at the finish line.

“I like getting the baton last and then giving it all I have to try to either catch someone that’s ahead of me or stay in front of whoever is behind me,” said Iles.

The relay title was her second first-place finish of the day as Iles won the 1,600-meter race with a time of five minutes and 43 seconds. Iles finished one second ahead of the second-place finisher, junior Elsie Wilbanks of Corinth.

Wilbanks then finished first in the 3,200-meter race, ahead of Iles who finished second. Wilbanks won the 5A cross-country race earlier in the school year, a race that Iles finished fourth in.

Iles says being part of the track team at BHS carries a reputation of excellence.

“When we show up and get set up and start going through our warmup laps, people will tell us how intimidating we look as a team,” said Iles.

The title was won last week and this week the team was further honored at their annual end of year banquet. There will be a time in the next school year when the team will be honored, likely at a basketball game, with another state championship ring.

Graham, who’ll be a senior next year, doesn’t want the string of state titles to end on her watch.

“Just imagining finishing up my career with another state title,” said a smiling Graham. “Having a handful of rings, that would be awesome.”


Expect boys’ relay team to contend again after 4×100 gold

There might not be an event that teams care more about than winning a 4×100 relay race. There is so much pride in knowing that you have the fastest four individuals on the track and that they were able to pull off what isn’t an easy task, handing the baton to a teammate while running as fast as they can.

The Brookhaven High boys’ team finished first in the 4×100 with a time of 42.51 at the 5A state meet. The second placed team from North Pike finished in 42.60 and the third placed team from Natchez High finished in 42.95.

Hundredths of a second separated first through fourth places.

Senior Nathan Lewis, an All-Area linebacker who also was part of the powerlifting team at BHS, is the only upperclassman on that relay team. He was joined by freshman speedster Jaden Allen and sophomore Caiden Quarles, two guys that Brookhaven High fans know can run, especially when they have a football in hand on King Field.

The final member of the relay team was sophomore Zeden Williams, a relay running specialist. Williams was part of the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400 and 4×800 teams.

In the 4×400, he teamed with Jamien Wright, Joshua Wing and William Buie to finish third behind Laurel and Natchez.

The 4×200 team finished fourth and consisted of Williams, Lewis, Caiden Quarles and Kelan Quarles.

Leave it to an expert like Williams to explain what makes a good relay teammate.

“You’ve got to always support the other legs and remember it’s a team race, not just a solo race,” said Williams. “You’ve also got to always try your best every day in practice.”