Western Branch is a powerhouse. It has been very over a decade now and in recent years has become the preeminent hurdling high school in the nation. In fact, when it comes to 55mH, they are the deepest team all-time in the entire nation.
This past weekend though things got even faster for the Bruins. Senior Jada Terrell went a blazing US #1 8.01 in the finals but to her right was sophomore teammate Shadajah Ballard. She on the other hand blasted out of the blocks and by the third hurdle was en route to something special. She crossed the line 7.79 which is a US #1 time, a Boo Williams Facility Record, a school record, and #5 All-Time in Virginia.
Though her coaches knew something fast was in store, no one expected this fast, this early. This means we could be in store for a very fast hurdler this year and that Brandee' Johnson's state record of 7.66 may not be safe for long.
Shadajah is going to be a superstar, if you don't already consider her such. She is a very fast hurdler and could go down as the best ever for Virginia but her real strength is in the sprints. She enters the season ranked 8th all-time in the 100 and 13th in the 55m dash. She has run 10.69 and 6.991 for both races.
This indoor season is going to be a big one and also a telling one. It will show us how high is the ceiling for this sophomore. Will she break state records this year and begin the hunt for national records? This is going to be a fun ride and it is all going down in Virginia.