Washington School’s Mollie Warrington and Banks Dinkins both vaulted to state championships last Friday at the MAIS Class 4A state track meet at Jackson Academy. Warrington, a senior, won her pole vault event in thrilling fashion. After a number of vaults could not decide it, Warrington and her competitor from Silliman Institute went to a sudden death vault-off. In the vault-off, Warrington saved her best for last as she sailed over the bar for a personal best record 11 feet and six inches. The winning attempt was more than a foot better than her previous best, and it allowed the Lady General to claim her third straight state championship in pole vault.
“Mollie is a real hard worker, and she just wanted to end her career with another state championship,” Washington School coach William Ray said. “Mollie has worked hard ever since she began pole vaulting as a seventh grader. It does not surprise me that she went out on top again.”
In the boys pole vault event, Washington School’s Banks Dinkins was also the best in his class. Dinkins, a junior, won his first ever state championship with a vault of 12 feet.
Like Warrington, Dinkins has been pole vaulting since the seventh grade. Like Warrington, his victory Friday was a result of years of hard work.
“These two are real competitors, and they are real hard workers,” Coach Ray said.
A good deal of the credit for the vaulting success of Dinkins and Warrington is due to the coaching they have received over the years from pole vault instructor Carrie Lynn McCormick, Coach Ray said. McCormick, from Madison, has traveled to Greenville many times during the season to coach the Washington School vaulters. Many General athletes also attend the pole vaulting camps McCormick puts on in her hometown.
Along with Dinkins and Warrington, the Class 4A state track meet was also a success for many other members of the Washington School track team. Tylan Sherdon finished second in the shot put. JD Bennett finished third in the mile. Lawton Poole finished second in the mile and third and the two mile, and Owen Hardin finished third in the two mile.
“JD Bennett who is just eighth grader ran a real impressive mile with a time of 5:03, and Owen Hardin also had a great run in the mile with a 5:10.”