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MAIS track roundup: Burke and Kivett medal in long jump; SIA’s Windham crushes field in discus

JACKSON — With her high school track and field career entering its final weekend, Natalie Burke would have loved to have added one more state championship to her stellar resumé.

Unfortunately, the St. Aloysius senior and everyone else in the MAIS Class 4A girls’ long jump ran into a flying buzzsaw.

Hillcrest Christian’s Mylani Galbreath obliterated the MAIS overall record with a leap of 19 feet, 4 inches, leaving everyone else tipping their cap and playing for second place at the state meet Friday at Jackson Academy.

Galbreath’s mark was nine inches ahead of the MAIS girls’ all-classification long jump record set by Madison-Ridgeland Academy’s Haley Cox in 2011, and more than two feet ahead of her teammate Aaliyah Dixon in this meet.

“I’m just happy to jump with her. She’s amazing,” Burke said. “It’s one of those moments when you just have to be happy for them and just appreciate them. Yeah, I’m a good jumper, but she’s next level. It’s great to watch that.”

Although she didn’t add a second long jump championship to the one she won in 2018, Burke did make a couple of trips to the podium on Friday.

Burke jumped 16 feet, 6 inches to finish third in the long jump, and later in the day was second in the triple jump with a mark of 33-7 1/2. Silliman’s Annabelle Windham won the triple jump with a mark of 34-1 1/2.

Burke’s silver and bronze medals gave her a total of five in seven individual events at the MAIS state meet during her high school career. She’ll also compete in the 200 meters, and the 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays when the meet resumes Saturday.

Field events and the 3,200 meter runs in some classifications were contested Friday at Jackson Academy, and running events begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Jackson Prep.

“Every day is different with jumping,” said Burke, who signed with Millsaps College. “Some days you’re going to jump 17, some days you’re going to start off jumping 15s. Today I went from 15 to 16. It varies so much. I give my best every day and hope for the best.”

A BUSY MAN
Few athletes are as well-rounded — or as busy — as Tallulah Academy’s Carter Sullivan.
The senior competes in four spring sports for Tallulah — track and field, golf, tennis and baseball — and will be competing in state tournaments in all of them over the next week.

Sullivan will compete in the MAIS Class 1A golf tournament with the Trojans on Monday, and in the Class 1A tennis tournament with his twin brother Walker on Wednesday. On Tuesday and Friday, he’s with Tallulah’s baseball team for a Class 1A semifinal series against Prairie View Academy.

Leading off all of that, he’s competing in the Class 1A state track meet in the pole vault, and the 1,600 meters this weekend. He qualified for the 3,200 meters as well, but did not start that event when it was contested late Friday afternoon.

“Me and Walker come from track, tennis, baseball, golf — we have a state golf meet Monday and we’re in the third round of the baseball playoffs now. Me and him are going to state in tennis this week. I barely have time for school and I have finals all next week,” Carter said with a laugh.

Carter’s busy week got off to a good start. He took home a silver medal in the pole vault on Friday, with a height of 8 feet, 6 inches. Desoto School’s Carter Gore won with a height of 10 feet.

They were the only two competing in the event, but that didn’t matter to Sullivan. He only started vaulting about two weeks ago, before the track and field postseason began, to help Tallulah earn free team points in an event with a thin field.

“Coach Bart (Wood) wanted me to pole vault for points for district and South State. Me and my buddy were the only two pole vaulters in our district, so it was easy points,” Sullivan said.

SECOND AGAIN
Tallulah Academy senior Faith Kivett received her silver medal for the girls’ Class 1A long jump on Friday and quickly tossed it in her bag. After all, as nice as it was to medal, she already has more of them than she wants.

Kivett finished third in the long jump for the third time in four years despite a personal-best leap of 16 feet, 9 inches. North Sunflower Academy’s Rihanna Love posted a mark of 17-2 to win easily.

Tallulah’s Carrie Beth Miller finished seventh in the event.

“I feel like I should have worked harder and got first, but that’s on me. She just beat me,” Kivett said. “That was good, but I like to get first.”

Kivett will have two more chances Saturday to get the best of Love. They are among the favorites in both the 100 and 200 meters.

AROUND THE AREA
Four athletes from schools in the Vicksburg area claimed gold medals in Friday’s field events, and several more got medals of another color:

• Briarfield Academy’s Olivia Batton cleared 4 feet, 6 inches to win the girls’ Class 1A high jump title. Her teammate Abigail Payne, meanwhile, won the triple jump with a mark of 32 feet, 5 inches.
Another Briarfield athlete, Corinne Condrey, finished third in the girls’ 3,200 meters.

• Sharkey-Issaquena Academy’s Harlee Beth Windham blew away the field in the Class 1A girls’ discus competition with a mark of 93 feet, 6 inches that no one seriously challenged.
Wilkinson County Christian’s Kenzie Bryant was second with a mark of 86-1, and Briarfield’s Cailen Witcher was third at 83-6.

• Tensas Academy’s Chris Davis won the Class 1A boys’ long jump title with a mark of 20 feet, 9 3/4 inches, and was second in the triple jump at 40 feet, 1/2 inch.

• Sharkey-Issaquena’s Jeffrey Bolden finished second in the boys’ Class 1A discus, with a mark of 106-5.

• Briarfield’s Carter Coullard was second in the boys’ Class 1A shot put, with a throw of 40-6. Tensas Academy’s Sam Paxton finished third at 39-2, and Jacob Henley of North Sunflower Academy won with a mark of 44-3 1/4.

• Central Hinds Academy’s Gracie Lay cleared 8 feet, 6 inches to finish third in the girls’ Class 4A pole vault.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured sports reporters in the paper's 137-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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