Hot Start In Spite Of Cool Temps At Shelby County Jamboree

Shelby County Jamboree

The Shelby County Jamboree this year was on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Those two days just so happened to be two of the nicest weather days we've had so far this year. Not bad to get into the high 70's and low 80's in the first week of March! The meet also put several marks on the top of the list in the rankings. Yes, I know, it's pre-season and so the marks can be deceiving. So let's take a dive into the meet.

Coming off a couple of pretty solid indoor meets this season, Memphis Central's Jordan Ware - to no-one's surprise - won the 100M. His time of 10.48 was about 0.14 of a second faster than how he started out last year. That time was also faster than his State Championship title time. Yes, the obvious observation here would be that Jordan is on a tear again this season! With the recognized record at 10.33 set in 1985, it may be wise to have a TSSAA Official at every meet the Warrior are at this season but not just for Ware alone as Central's 4x100M relay started out strong as well with a 41.37 time that would place them in the overall second ranking spot from all of last year's season. If those hand-offs stay steady, I'd have to say that Central's national spot this year is definitely going to improve over last season. It'll be nice to have a team run 40.XX from a state not named Texas for once. 

It's probably a good thing to note too that the #2 spot in the 100 was by Jeremiah Patton of Memphis Central. Jeremiah ran an 11 flat to set a new PR. Being a Sophomore, this certainly keeps Memphis Central sprinters in the spot light for a long time! At last years Jamboree, Jeremiah ran an 11.38 and ran to an 11.31 by the end of the season. Clearly, another athlete that is starting out the 2023 season strong.

And speaking of relays, Collierville seemed to come out to the Jamboree with a mission. With a hundredth of a second away from getting tied for second, that was the worse performance for their sprint relays at this meet. But they did take top spots in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays on Monday.  

I've always been a huge fan of the Pole Vault. That was my event in high school. I'm also not going to embarrass myself talking about how great I was at the sport (I was not), or that I could vault pretty darn high (I did not) or that... well... I did the vault and that's all I can say! On the other hand, a couple of Christian Brothers teammates decided to set new outdoor PR's in the event at this Jamboree on Tuesday. A bit of a windier day than Monday, but still decent temps and a nice day to vault. Ben Rouse and Cole Hungate tied for the #1 spot. Those marks are close to a foot higher than the best marks out of their division from all of 2022 season.

On the girls vault side, there are 8 girls in the top 5 overall in the ranking coming out of the Shelby County Jamboree. I know, it's early... way early... but still, at least 30 or so girls have set marks this outdoor season already... so give me a minute to take a quick look at this. Out of those 8 girls in the top five, 5 of them set the marks at the Shelby County Jamboree. Amalia Shapiro of St. Mary's set her best outdoor mark of 9-10 and captured the title here. Her best vault last year was eight feet. With that impressive of a boost, it's a good idea to keep an eye on this sophomore this season.

Another field event that impressed at the Jamboree was the girls Triple. Akira Simpson of Memphis Central marked a 37-8.5 in what was used to be called the Hop, Skip & Jump. Last years second best ranked jump for the season was a 37-0. This is 8.5 inches further. Not a bad way to start out the season.

On the girls sprint side, a familiar name popped up - Jaitlyn Ware of Memphis Central. Jaitlyn was able to cut off some time and set her new PR at 12.08. That's a pretty good drop from how she started out last Track season!  

St. George's girls gave themselves a good start to the season posting a 50.03 mark in the 4x100 relay. That was almost three quarters of a second faster than their best last season. It also would have moved them to the second best time from last years season in their D2A division.  Memphis Central's girls took the top spot in the 4x200, White Station in the 4x400 and Collierville in the 4x800 at this meet.

Houston's Eva Gautreaux is starting out the season on a pretty fast note as well. Clocking 57.53, which is 0.30 slower than her PR from last TSSAA season and a bit slower than her summer time of 56.64, but certainly a ton faster than how she started out the 2022 season. Looking at Eva's profile in Mile Split, it looks like every season she runs the 400, she ends the season with a very solid improvement from how she starts the season. That could mean this Senior may be thinking about a higher podium spot once May comes around.

The girls 3200 at the Jamboree was the second to last event on the first day of the Jamboree. A bit of a warm day and not something most of the Memphis area athletes have been accustomed to lately. But Zoe Marsh posted an 11:05.20 in the distance to win by a pretty good margin over a couple of Houston teammates. I was surprised to see that such an accomplished distance runner doesn't really have a lot of 3200 marks on her profile. I suppose if you are to run one 3200 and almost break Eleven, than that's all you need!

There's always a lot of talk about high school athletes doing the 1600. Should they run the mile? Should it drop down to the 1500 like it is in college? For TN, the event is the 1600M. The Jamboree this season may just be a start to finding out who might be the top girl to crown in this event in the Memphis area. Right now, it seems to be between St. George's Lauren Rutlin and Houston's Gracey Owens.

At this Jamboree, Lauren came out with a win over Houston's Gracey Owens. Lauren's time was about five or so seconds off her fastest. Gracey on the other hand, set a PR at this race with a 5:14.98. Head to head here, Lauren took the top spot. Later in the season, considering Gracey is starting out on a strong note, it could be anyone's guess who can be the top. Right now, I'd give the nod to the senior... well, to the St. George's senior. But don't count out any senior coming out of the Houston program... These two girls are in two different divisions, but with both being seniors, this could really be a showcase matchup throughout the regular season this year. I'm hoping we see these two in the waterfall start a few more times before going their to their own division once the post season comes around.

That's it for the recap of the Shelby County Jamboree. It definitely is not it for the competition though... that part is just getting started. I certainly don't have the talent to predict the future, especially when it comes to Track & Field. But one thing I can be certain about... with this start, we have an exciting season of Track & Field ahead of us this year!!

See you on the track,

Coach Ted