2014 All-Area Girls Track and Field: Beaufort High pole vaulter Jackie Barnes, BC coach Tyrone Pierce lead way

Jackie Barnes will tell you, with no pun intended, that the bar is set high.

Only a sophomore, the Beaufort High School pole vaulter won the Class 4-A state championship for the Eagles after placing fourth as a freshman. She briefly held the national record for her grade this past school year and took aim at the state mark at the S.C. High School League Class 4-A meet in May, coming up just shy.

Barnes is still going. The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year will travel this week to the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics, which began Monday in Humble, Texas. Barnes cleared 10 feet, 8 inches earlier this month at the Region 4 qualifier. The height was below the 12-9 she cleared at a meet in March in Jacksonville, but enough to qualify for this week’s meet, where she hopes to regain some form.

Barnes has been working with coach Rusty Shealy in Columbia on her takeoff and plant. She said she might be worn down from going non-stop since November and has scaled back her workouts to prepare for the Junior Olympics.

“But I think it’s going to all come together, and I’m going to do pretty good,” Barnes said. “At least I hope so.”

At Spring Valley High School at the Class 4-A meet in May, Barnes was 6 inches better than Wando’s Sarah Lee, the defending champion. Barnes tried three times for 12-8 1/2 to break the record of 12-7 set by Sandi Morris is 2010.

The sophomore said there was still time to get the record and was pleased with her first gold in the pole vault.

“I just went in there with the mentality that I already had it so I wouldn’t stress myself out,” Barnes said in May. “When I got up there, everything just came together.”

Coach of the Year: Tyrone Pierce, Battery Creek

On the big Saturday in May at Spring Valley High School, Tyrone Pierce was confident his Battery Creek High School girls track team could swing a top-five finish in Class 2-A.

Then some early results went the Dolphins’ way. Pierce began tallying points and told his girls they had a chance to finish runners-up.

“It just all started to fall into place,” Pierce said.

The Dolphins finished second to Bishop England despite one of their best athletes, Quamecha Morrison, limited to one event due to an injury that bothered her during the region meet. The runner-up finish was the program’s first.

Morrison won her second consecutive state title in the high jump to help lead the Dolphins, who got surprising finishes from Dasji’a Cannon in the sprints and grabbed 14 points with second- and third-place efforts in the triple jump.

“I was very pleased with the girls’ effort,” Pierce said. “I thought it was a great way to end the season.”


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The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet All-Area Girls Track Team

Athlete of the Year: Jackie Barnes, Beaufort High

Coach of the Year: Tyrone Pierce, Battery Creek

Quamecha Morrison, Battery Creek (high jump)

Kimberly Vigil, Battery Creek (pole vault)

Zakiyah Cobban, Battery Creek (long jump, triple jump, 4×100 relay)

La’Schirrae Morrall, Battery Creek (triple jump)

Bre-Anna Heyward-White, Beaufort High (100, 200, 400, 4×400)

Aaliyah Smalls, Beaufort High (100, 4×100, 4×400)

Jackie Barnes, Beaufort High (pole vault)

Carley McGlinn, Hilton Head High (1600, 4×800)

Beka Parent, Hilton Head High (4×800)

Ciara McMahon, Hilton Head High (4×800)

Rachel Friend, Hilton Head High (800, 4×800)

Kemoni Jenkins, Whale Branch (100 hurdles)

Shatayia Clark, Whale Branch (discus)

Whale Branch 4×100 relay (Harmony Cleveland, Da’Ja Smalls, Nichole Smalls, Marshayia White)




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