2023 All-County Track: Vicksburg’s Hall claims The Post’s track Athlete of the Year award

Published 3:55 am Sunday, May 28, 2023

When the results for the MHSAA Class 5A girls’ long jump were announced, and she headed to the podium to get her medal, Rodrianna Hall’s smile was as wide as the gap she’d covered in the event.

It didn’t matter that it was a silver for second place, and not a gold for first. She’d finally gotten a prize that had eluded her for two years.

“It was the best moment of my life,” Hall said. “My smile was so big all day. I was smiling the next day. I wore my medal around the house when I got home.”

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Hall is now celebrating another accomplishment. The Vicksburg High junior, who qualified for the state meet in four events, is the 2023 Vicksburg Post girls’ track and field Athlete of the Year.

Hall was one of only two individual female athletes from Warren County to win a medal at this year’s state meets, and the best finisher among all of Vicksburg High’s track athletes. Her teammate Layla Carter finished third in the triple jump.

“That’s a real big thing to me, because I always knew I was good at track and I was good at basketball, too,” she said. “But I never really focused on track until I started long jumping because I realized I was good at it. Now being the Athlete of the Year, you see how good you are.”

Hall reached the state meet in the triple jump, high jump and 4×100 meter relay as well as the long jump. She finished fourth in the triple jump and 4×100, and did not get to compete in the high jump. It was scheduled for the same time as the long jump, so Hall had to make a difficult choice.

“I knew I was better at long jump than high jump, so I had to choose one. Everybody else was more advanced in high jump,” she said. “I feel like if I really tried I would have gone to the podium in high jump, too. I would have cleared 5 feet.”

High jumping 5 feet might have gotten Hall a medal — three athletes tied for second place with that height — but her confidence in her ability in the long jump paid off.

Hall jumped 17 feet, 6 inches, which was a season-best. Her previous long was 16-8 the week before, when she won the North State championship.

Hattiesburg’s Lenasia Drummond leaped 18-2 to blow away the field, but Hall was a comfortable second. Third went to Brookhaven’s Zyquevia Winters, who jumped 16-7.

Hall finished fourth as a freshman in 2021, and again as a sophomore in 2022.

“Freshman year when I made it to state, I was real nervous. I knew I had an opportunity to win, but at the same time I knew there were still people better than me and older than me. It was still real nice having that experience even though I lost,” she said.

Breaking through to the podium after two years of coming agonizingly close lifted a weight off her shoulders, Hall added.

“Finally. You put in all the work and then it finally pays off, even though it takes time,” she said.

Hall thanked her mother Ebonie Moore and Vicksburg High coach Deatra Cable for their support, and added that she doesn’t want another silver medal in 2024. Drummond was a senior, so Hall should be the favorite to win the Class 5A championship next season.

“I’m going for gold all next year,” she said with a smile.

2023 – Rodrianna Hall, Vicksburg
2022 – Layla Carter, Vicksburg
2021 – Cati Mathews, St. Aloysius
2020 – No winner (COVID)
2019 – Char’Davia Anderson, Vicksburg
2018 – Raven Thompson, Warren Central
2017 – Dede Apenyo, St. Aloysius
2016 – Tymesha Nabors, Vicksburg
2015 – Keiyana Gaskin, Vicksburg
2014 – Alyssa Engel, St. Aloysius

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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