Ballard Sisters & Western Branch Dominate Nationals Again


The Ballard sisters and their teammates had quite the weekend at the Armory. They tallied up three national titles and numerous All-American finishes. 

Winning individually was Shadajah Ballard who took home the 60mH national title in 8.11 which ranks as one of the ten fastest times ever in the event. Her 55m hurdle time was 7.56 which breaks her own state record of 7.61 set at the Class 6 State Meet this February. 

Just behind her in that hurdle race was Jazmine Tilmon who clocked an All-American 6th place 7.80. That time ranks VA #7 all-time in the 55mH distance. Her 60mH time was 8.38. 

Western Branch also took home two relay team titles. They won the Mixed 4x4 and girls 4x4 as well. They also broke the national record in the shuttle hurdle relay but were later disqualified for starting too early on one of the exchanges. 

The biggest moment of the weekend though was Na'Taja Ballard in the Mixed 4x4. Even after winning the EE 60mH title she came back in the mixed relay which is two guys and two girls on each relay team. 

Out of the six relay teams in the final it was only Western Branch with a girl running anchor, Na'Taja. She got the baton with a big lead and eventually split 54 to lead the Bruins to the win. The best part of it, aside from the fact that she is a girl holding off a bunch of sub 50 splits from the guys, was how she had to throw off her wig 150m into the race and still won! It created an instant classic moment where she was not going to be stopped. 

This was Na'Taja's 5th national title in a relay where she anchored it. 

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