PEARL - A trio of track athletes, two from New Albany and one from East Union, won gold medals on Saturday at the MHSAA 2A-4A-6A State Track Championships at Pearl.
Cameron Knox of New Albany won the 4A boys triple jump and Catherine Truemper of New Albany won the 4A girls 300 meter hurdles. Micah Fulgham of East Union won the 2A boys pole vault.
Knox leaps to gold
Cameron Knox of New Albany stuck a golden jump on his third attempt at 44-10.00 which held up for the remainder of the five attempts by his competition.
Jvontae Noel of Raymond was second with a top effort of 44-02.25 and Pontotoc's Kyleal McShan was third at 43-01.50.
"I got my 44-10 on my third attempt, I was feeling good and looking to have fun and don't think too much about it," Knox said. "It feels good to be a state champ, I'm going to come back next year and defend it.
"I credit my success to Coach Epting and Coach Anderson, most of all and also to my football coaches because they inspired my to come do track and also my track teammates have inspired me, I've had a lot of encouragement."
Fulgham vaults to top of 2A
Micah Fulgham of East Union grabbed the gold medal in the 2A pole vault with his top mark of 11-00.00. The senior had placed second in the pole vault in 2019.
Fulgham's title didn't come without a bit of drama and controversy as he and Mason Rhea had the same mark as neither could clear the bar at 11-06. The track official scoring the event initially gave first to Rhea, but after discussion and intervention by other coaches involved in the event and East Union coach Nathan McLellen, Fulgham was rightfully given the gold.
The title should have been awarded to Fulgham due to the first tie break because he cleared the previous 11-00 mark on his first attempt while Rhea needed three attempts to clear and advance. Following a discussion with multiple officials, the correct ruling was made and Fulgham completed his career as 2A champion.
Fulgham also completed with a pole that he had never used before after he splintered his in practice earlier in the week, but Pontotoc track and field gladly loaned him a replacement. After a few minor adjustments of getting familiar with his pole, Fulgham took the top spot on the podium.
"I don't really know, man, there was a lot going into it with just having broken a pole and then I had to figure out my different marks and where to hold, where to run, just trying to figure it out warming it up," Fulgham said.
"It feels pretty good to be state champion, having tied my 10th grade year and covid during my 11th grade year (meet was canceled), so it feels good to come out on top."
Truemper hurdles the 4A competition
Catherine Truemper of New Albany won the 4A girls 300 meter hurdles with a time of 47.53.
Trennedy Shelby of Raymond was second with a 49.98 and Ava McRaney of Vancleave was third at 50.46.
Truemper won in dominating fashion as she broke the finish line while the other hurdlers were clearing the final hurdle.
Truemper missed the entire soccer season due to a foot injury and had not been running much until March, so the fact that she was able to compete at all was remarkable plus winning the gold made the accomplishment astounding.
Truemper shared the keys to the win after the race.
"It was just pushing it, I really struggled and I just kept thinking that I need to win and I did," Truemper said. "It was mostly around that corner that I didn't feel anyone beside me that I just thought that I might as well push some more.
"It's amazing being state champion, I didn't think I would get it, but I had a lot of people help me out and I got there."