Vicksburg’s Henderson, Carter earn medals at Class 5A state meet

Published 12:05 am Sunday, May 1, 2022

PEARL — Layla Carter cleared the last hurdle, looked up, and saw Brookhaven’s Chrisiyona Quarles just a few steps ahead. Carter turned on the jets and won a sprint to the line to steal third place by .08 seconds.

It wasn’t the most remarkable moment at Saturday’s MHSAA Class 5A state track meet, but it did help salvage an otherwise lackluster day for Vicksburg High.

Carter added the bronze medal in the 300 meter hurdles to the one she won in the triple jump, and Tyler Henderson won a silver for Vicksburg’s boys’ team in the triple jump. Those were the only medals for Vicksburg in 14 events between the two teams.

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“Some people were having off days,” Carter said.

That included Carter herself, who finished fifth in the high jump and third in the triple jump despite being among the favorites in both events. She jumped 35 feet, 5 1/4 inches in the triple jump, and wound up on the wrong end of a bizarre situation in the high jump.

Carter and five other jumpers cleared the bar at 5 feet, but all of them missed at 5-2. Most had also missed on their first attempt at 5 feet. Only Laurel’s Qiana Pierce cleared it on her first try, and thus won the tiebreaker that determined the winner.

Carter had also missed her first attempt at 4-10, which wound up coming back to haunt her. The tiebreaker was number of attempts needed to clear each earlier height, so the miss likely cost her a medal.

“I messed up at 4-10. I should have just cleared it like I normally do and I probably could have stayed in it,” Carter said.
The two bronze medals in her later events, however, helped make up for it a bit.
“I’m more than OK with it. It’s great. I didn’t expect it, but I’m here,” Carter said.

Henderson, meanwhile, finished second in the boys’ triple jump to earn a silver medal. He leaped 43 feet, 6 inches, just ahead of the mark of 43-5 1/4 set by Kamden Medlen of Vancleave and 43-1 1/2 by Callaway’s Jamar Chapman.

Canton’s Thomasavian Simmons jumped 44 feet, 1/2 inch to win.

“The first jump (Simmons) was already of me so I had to tighten up,” Henderson said. “I was jumping 43 consistently but he jumped 44 after that and I couldn’t beat him. Nothing I could do ­— but next year, first place.”

In the other events for Vicksburg’s boys’ team, Koury Vample finished sixth in the 110 meter hurdles; Kaleb Hanger was seventh in the 300 hurdles; and the 4×400 meter relay team of Ka’Darius Coleman, Shawndell Daniel, Quinjerius Miles and Kenneth Swayzer finished sixth.

The relay team clocked a time of 3 minutes, 36.57 seconds, which was about a second and a half away from a medal.

For the Missy Gators, Kalia Bland was eighth in the 100 meter hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles; Shaniyah Walker was sixth in the 400 meter dash; Rekia Williams was seventh in the discus; Jelisa Tyler was eighth in the shot put; and Rodrianna Hall fourth in the long jump.

Hall jumped 15 feet, 11 3/4 inches and missed out on a medal by about 6 inches.

The Missy Gators’ 4×200 and 4×400 meter relay teams both finished seventh.
Vicksburg totaled 34.5 points to finished sixth in the team standings. Brookhaven won the Class 5A girls’ championship with 130.5 points.

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 reporters in the paper's 140-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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