Thursday, October 23, 2014
The Clinton High School Girls haven't lost a scored team track meet since 2012. The team won back-to-back state 6A competitions after defeating Meridian 101.5-95 as they defended their 2013 title.
Thanks to the Lady Arrows' dominance, head coach Johnathan Perkins won the 2014 National Federation of State High School Associations' award for girls' track and field, and it made him eligible for the NFSH regional award. The U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association also named Perkins the 2014 Girls High School Track and Field Coach of the Year for Mississippi.
Perkins, who was the assistant coach, took over when former head coach Joe Queen left the school to pursue a career in firefighting. The school elevated Perkins and assistant coach Jim Peters to head-coach positions, with Perkins becoming the girls' coach and Peters becoming the boys' coach.
A graduate of Clinton High School, Perkins played football for the Arrows at Hinds Community College. He has more than 10 years of coaching experience in football and track with six years as head coach of the boys' and girls' track team for Raymond High School.
Perkins has a bachelor's degree in mathematics education from Jackson State University and teaches geometry at Clinton High School. He also coaches for the varsity football team.
The 2014 Lady Arrows featured Demi Washington, who earned state championships in both the 100-meter dash, with a time of 11.81 seconds, and the 200-meter dash, with a time of 24.06 seconds. Washington earned Mississippi Miss Track and Field titles in 2013 and 2014 and was named 2014 USA Today Gatorade Mississippi Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Washington is entering her 10th-grade year, so the rest of the state will have to face her for the next three years.
Washington's teammate Justice Sims finished second in both events behind Washington at 12.28 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 24.89 seconds for the 200-meter run. Sims entered her junior year this fall and will continue to push Washington for the next two years.
The Lady Arrows also won state championships in five other events.
Harper Newell won the 100-meter hurdles at 14.58 seconds and finished as runner up in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 45.39 seconds. Monica Mosely won the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 44.10 seconds.
Jasmine Johnson won the pole-vault state championship with a height of 11 feet and four inches.
Newell, Washington, Sims and Mosely won the state title in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 46.14 seconds and the 4x200 meter relay with a time of one minute and 37.58 seconds. Those times set a new overall meet record in both events.
The Lady Arrows ranked in the Top 100 US National High School Rankings. The team ranked eighth out of 69, 747 teams in the 4x100 meter relay and ranked seventh 38,855 teams in the 4x200 meters nationwide. The relay team was also named a Milesplit All-American Team.