2021 Moments of the Year
To finish off 2021, we're going to countdown the MileSplit TN Top 10 Moments of the Year. Each day one 'moment' will be posted in the morning and one in the afternoon so check back as they get posted. As you'll see throughout the countdown, last year was filled with incredible drama, can't miss racing, and record breaking history. Enjoy.
#8 The Rise of Marzeion Jones
A first year track athlete taking the state by storm is not an uncommon occurrence especially in jumps but every time it happens it becomes must watch competition. In 2017, Jalen Tate of West Creek won the triple jump state title while taking runner up in the long. In 2018, Jaden Halliburton of Hillsboro was the only jumper in the state to clear 6' 10" in the High Jump and he did it twice! For both, this was their first and only season participating in the sport. As was the same with Green Hill's Marzeion Jones. With these athletes it's always a crash course until things click. Jones opened with a 5' 10", 20' 2", and 40' 8" in his first competition with no victories in any but a couple of competition later all of a sudden he's over six feet, 22 feet, and 45 feet?!
It became a weekly exercise of mine, and likely others who had athletes in those competitions, to seek out "What is Marzeion going to do next?"
In the following weeks 45 feet turned into 46, 22 feet turned in to 23, and 6 feet turned into 6' 4" which all ranked Top 5 in the state as we headed to Rockvale.
Marzeion Jones won all three jump competitions at the Section 3 Championships.
With all three competitions on his plate at state, limiting attempts became a priority in his attempt to sweep the competitions again and after a foul on his first attempt in the triple he did this and passed his remaining jumps to claim gold.
The high jump competition required a little more time and attempts as four jumpers, including Marzeion cleared 6' 4". Marzeion was the first to clear 6' 6". Grant Campbell of Heritage would clear as well on his next attempt and eventually clear 6' 8". Jones would claim runner up.
Marzeion Jones clearing 6' 6" for the first time in Rockvale.
In the long jump following the high, Jones would place 5th with a jump of 22' 5.75". Without much rest after, he would then step on the track to run a leg in the Green Hill 4x200. While he only stepped away with one victory on the day, anything was possible and everyone was watching to see what he would do next.
As we transition from Cross Country coverage to Track and Field, the yearly potential that there will be another Tate, Halliburton, or Jones rise out of obscurity gets me excited for what's to come this spring.