Sierra Edwards, Chrisiyona Quarles push each other to state champion heights

Published 9:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2024

Brookhaven High seniors Sierra Edwards and Chrisiyona Quarles didn’t fall in love with track un-til they were sophomores in high school.

The duo doesn’t remember interacting much during that time, but as their passion for the sport grew, so did their friendship.

Last weekend, the two standout student athletes made sure their high school careers ended in the best fashion possible, atop the medal podium at the MHSAA 5A State Track and Field Meet.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Edwards won the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. Quarles won the 200-meter dash and finished as runner up to Edwards in those two hurdles races. The pair also teamed up with sen-ior Jasmine Robertson and freshman Jaysha Johnson to win the 4×400 relay race as well.

Together, Edwards and Quarles were a huge part of the BHS girls’ track team winning a third con-secutive 5A team title.

For Edwards, her early athletic years were spent focused on cheer. Quarles didn’t give sports too much attention when she was growing up in Georgia before moving to Brookhaven in high school.

They both joined the track team as sophomores at the urging of some of the coaches and they were both part of BHS winning the first of its three straight 5A titles in 2022.

As green and inexperienced as the pair were that season, they showed what potential they had as sophomores. Edwards finished third in the 100-meter hurdles in 2022 and she was second in the 300-meter hurdles with Quarles finishing fourth in that race.

They leveled up as juniors, with Edwards finishing second and Quarles coming in third last year in the 100-meter hurdles.

“Coach Steven Keys started coming to practice to really help me get my steps down between the hurdles,” said Edwards. “To train for hurdles, you’ve got to do a bunch of different drills over and over until it becomes something you can do in your sleep. This is definitely something we worked hard for.”

Last year in the 300-meter hurdles, Edwards finished first to claim the gold medal while Quarles finished second in the race.

The separation between the gold and silver medal that day was .02 seconds.

One might think that with the pair competing against each other so many times over their careers, there would be a rivalry, but the friends say their shared success has only made them closer.

“We’ve always felt like we weren’t competing against each other,” said Quarles. “We’re competing against the other teams and the clock. It’s always been about us pushing each other to get better.”

Ask Edwards what colleges have been recruiting them and she’ll list out NCAA Division I, NAIA and community colleges from around the Magnolia State.

As good as Edwards and Quarles have been as teammates, they might not be done running togeth-er now that their high school careers are over.

Both think there is a good chance they’ll choose the same college program too.

Whatever the future holds, the pair share a sense of pride.

“I’m just proud to be a Panther and to be part of a track team that’s won state for three consecutive years,” said Edwards.