Thompson, who just took up the triple jump this track season, actually set a state record twice. In the first of her six jumps, she jumped 36 feet, 8 inches and surpassed the old record by three inches. Instead of immediately telling her the distance, those measuring the jumps called an AHSAA official to confirm the measurement and sign off on the official distance. On her second jump, the same delay occurred and she sensed something truly good had happened.
“When I broke the record, when I jumped the 36-8, they wouldn’t tell me because they had to get an official to make sure it was right. He had to sign it and then they told everybody who was over there,” Thompson said. “The next time, I jumped 37-2. He wouldn’t tell me again.”
When she heard the second distance, “I was shocked.” The triple jump is a combination of speed, power and balance.
“You need speed to go and then your phases need to be longer. I used to run the 100 (dash) and I guess my speed built up and it was easy for me,” Thompson said. “You need to make sure every jump is long enough. I’ve been working on that all year because sometimes my first jump would be big and my second jump small. I try to get all jumps the same length.”
Thompson’s state record of 37 feet, 2 inches exceeded her previous personal best by 14 inches. She may have been shocked but her coach, Mark Mitchell, was not.
“She told me going in she was going to jump a 38 (feet). I had no reason to doubt her. She had jumped really well in the long jump but didn’t win it (finishing second). She goes into the high jump and finishes second. That was not what she wanted in the long jump but it was three or four spots better in the high jump. But she had to hurry through the shot put. She had to throw all six throws right there and only got a point. She was kind of disappointed about that,” Mitchell said. “She was really motivated. She was winning the triple jump no matter what. She has worked so hard this year and dedicated herself because she hadn’t ever triple jumped before. She worked at it and worked at it and worked at it and she deserved the state record because she’s that type of girl. She has a phenomenal attitude. She did whatever I asked her to do. She was a great leader for us on our track team. It was a good, fitting end to her track and field career to set that state record. If any kid deserved it, BreAnna Thompson deserved it.”
As a team, Piedmont finished third with 67 points.
In addition to Thompson’s points in four events, Karri Green was third in the 300-meter hurdles and seventh in the 200-meter dash. Sarah Garner was fifth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump. Hayden Tyree and Mallory Roberts finished fifth and sixth respectively in the pole vault. Riesha Thompson was seventh in the triple jump and Jaylon Majors eighth in the discus.
The Bulldogs were fourth in each of the three relays. Running legs in the 4x100 relay were Riesha Thompson, Carlie Flowers, Tivis Green and Karri Green. Jakieya Mitchell, Rachel Lusk, Bre Green and Tivis Green combined on both the 4x400 and 4x800.
“Sooner or later, we’re going to get a blue trophy for the girls at our school,” Mitchell said. “They deserve it. We don’t have one yet but it’s coming. I told them (Saturday), ‘Don’t get used to finishing third.’”
Then he added, “I’m proud of the girls’ team this year. I’m proud of the effort they gave. They worked just as hard as the boys did. … They did everything that was expected of them and that’s what you want to do at your last track meet. There were some sad girls there but there were also some ones that realized, ‘Hey, we have made this into something really special here now. We’ve helped set the tone for what Piedmont girls’ track is going to be in the future.’”