JACKSON — The St. Joseph Catholic High School track team may not have won the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 2A State Championship, but the Fighting Irish have laid the foundation for many years to come.
The Fighting Irish came in third place in the team event, behind state champion Centerville and runner-up Central Holmes, but a number of underclassmen came away from Jackson with first-place honors.
Junior Trey Benson won the state championship in both the high jump and the 200 meters. Eighth grader Roury McCloyen won the state championship in the shot put. The relay team of Dillon Johnson, Trey Benson, AJ McCloud and Kaleb Lockett won the state championship in both the 4X100 and 4X200 meters. Max Perkins finished in third place in the pole vault. and McCloud finished fourth in the 200 meters.
“This is the first time we brought an entire team to the state meet, and they did quite well,” St. Joe coach John Baker said. “This year sets the table for us to come back in the next couple of years and really make a run at winning the state championship as a team.”
Baker said he was especially pleased with the performance of McCloyen. McCloyen, who won the state championship in the shot put, is only an eighth grader, but was not intimidated by the bigger and older upper classmen he faced during the state meet,
“Actually, he is better in the discus, but he was able to perform well under pressure and get the job done,” Baker said.