Malone's grit lifts JFK to state title
by Donell Maxie
May 14, 2014 | 2506 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The female athletes at John F. Kennedy High School are a special group.

On Monday, they proved to the state just how special when they brought home the 1A Girls State Track and Field Championship

The title made it the Lady Hornets’ second state championship in three years in track under the leadership of Coach Linda Allen.

"I have been saying that these young ladies are very special and they compete and play hard for each other," said Allen.

"I am so proud of these girls for the way they fought Monday especially with our best runner injured," Allen added,

That injured runner was Jarvis Malone who carried four events for the Lady Hornets to state.

On the long jump, which was Malone's first event of the day, the senior injured her knee.

"She said when her spikes hit the ground, she slid and her knee popped," said Allen. "We put her on crutches, but she asked for a brace because she was not going to sit by and not do everything in her power to help her team win.”

Malone continued to compete and with her injured knee and wearing a bulky brace the leader of the Lady Hornets willed herself to a fourth place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (18.46) and a third place finish in the 300-meter hurdles (51.01).

Malone's grit and determination along with her encouraging words to her teammates proved to be a special spark that help elevate the Lady Hornets to the championship according to Allen.

“We saw what kind of team we had yesterday,” Allen said. “We were first talking about pulling her (Malone) out, but she wasn't having it. And the team rallied around that."

The other big story of the day for the Lady Hornets was Frederica Haywood who set a class record in the discus throw (127-04) to win the state championship in the event.

Malone's sister, Jakerria, pulled her weight and won the high jump (4-08.00).

"Jarvis called her sister over and told her what she needed from her and the team and they all said 'I will'. Everybody said the same thing," said Allen.

Latina Jones won the 200-meter dash (26.51), finished second in the 400-meter dash (1:02.22) and finished third in the 100-meter dash (12.79). Jones also won the long jump (18-03.00).

The relay team of Ieysha Mays, Princess James, Deshantanae Bryant and Jakerria Malone helped lead the Lady Hornets to a second place finish in the 4x200 meter relay (1:51.95) and third in the 4x100 meter relay (51.01). Mays also finished second in the shot put (32-07.25).

This has been a big year for JFK in girls athletics. The girls basketball team won the 1A State Championship in March and now the track team has brought home a state title.

"We have had a great season, but it's not about me. It's all about the hard work these young ladies have put in. I am so proud of them," Allen added.