The James Clemens girls track team entered the final event of the AHSAA 7A state meet in Gulf Shores 1.5 points behind Auburn High School. Coach James Bell knew his team needed to place 7th or better to clinch the first AHSAA state championship in any sport for the Jets. Bell commented “we probably won’t win it but we shouldn’t finish 8th either”. The veteran 4 X 400 team of Liz Holcomb, Sylvia Cortes, Kristin Day, and Rachel Seeley pragmatically delivered a 5th place finish and sealed the championship for the Jets. Ashlee Osaji and Kiara Risher posted state championship performances. Osaji was champion in the triple jump and long jump, runner up in the 200 m and third in the 400 m. Risher was state champion in high jump and runner up in the 100 m. Rachel Seeley reached the podium with a bronze medal in the 300 hurdles.
Coach Bell stated, “No mistakes were made. All girls performed to the expectations of the coaches and the team. The administration was very helpful and supportive (Dr Clayton principal and athletic director Rocky Smith along with Assistant superintendent Eric Terrell – past athletic director of James Clemens and superintendent Robby Parker (formal Principal of Bob Jones that hired Coach Bell into Madison City). The JETS have been blessed the past 7 years with great Assistant Coaches: Elan Gaddy Sprints and Dave Seeley throws and other assistant coaches this year: Samuel Davis; Joshua Johnson; Hillary Huntsinger; Olivia Karr; Cheryl Ross and our lucky bus driver Mary Anne Pease.”