Branch Avoids Catastrophe, Runs State Record 4x1!


The team of Jazmine Tilmon, Shadajah Ballard, Jessica Tucker, and Na'Taja Ballard went to work this weekend. After running the fastest time in prelims they came to the final meaning business. They ultimately crossed the line in 44.92. That time is a Virginia state record and US #9 all-time. 

From early on, and really last year, everyone knew this team was going to be fast. They will be fast again next year of course too with three of the four returning. This year though was a special group and they'd be the first to tell you they wanted that national record (44.50). 

They made quick work of the prelims and then came the finals. They had Bullis on their inside and War on their outside. They were led off by start-specialist Jazmine who got them the lead early. Shadajah ran on second and showed the nation no one is faster than her.

Then catastrophe nearly struck.

Between Shadajah and Jessica the handoff barely happened and we mean barely. Somehow they got the stick handed off and then to Na'Taja Ballard who got the stick down a few meters from Kori Carter and Nansemond River. Just like older sister, Shadajah, Na'Taja was an absolute killer and dropped the field to win the race and national title. 

It is without a doubt had they had perfect handoffs that they would be national record holders. Next year all three top teams return 3/4 of their legs so expect it to be another quick year. 

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