Coffee County Track Team Makes a Splash at Vanderbilt


Jake Melton, Sports editor

With the track season coming to an end, more big meets are underway. Four athletes represented Coffee County at the Great 8 Invitational at Vanderbilt, Tuesday, May 1. Léo Penne, Jake Melton, Emily St. John, and Jadan Campbell competed in the 2k steeplechase. The 2k Steeplechase is a 5 lap race that features 18 barriers and 5 water barriers. For boys, the height of these barriers is 36 inches. For the girls it is 30 inches. Unlike hurdles, the steeples are stable and will not fall when hit. The athletes can hop over or off of these barriers. Each lap contains a water jump where there is a steeple placed directly in front of a 28 inch deep water pit. The pit is 12 feet long and has a steady incline to exit.

The Great 8 Invitational is one of the highest caliber meets in Tennessee. Only 8 athletes can compete in each event making qualifying times significantly faster than most meets. For example, qualifying 1600m time for boys was 4:40 and 5:24 for girls, and qualifying 100m time for boys was 11.25 seconds and for girls was 12.75.

Léo Penne finished 1st with a time of 6:52.51 and Jake Melton finished 7th with a time of 8:02.84. For the girls, Jadan Campbell finished 2nd with a time of 9:07.07 and Emily St. John finished 3rd with a time 9:48.28.