Ramonte Jackson continues to set milestones

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

NATCHEZ — Nine-year-old Ramonte Jackson was born to jump and run.

He started learning at age 4 by watching his father Eddie Ray Jackson coach other potential tracks athletes.

“He just started catching on and I noticed he was getting good at it,” Eddie Ray said.

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Jackson started competing at age 6. He was the youngest athlete to qualify nationally.

“My favorite is jumping,” Jackson said. “Jumping comes natural to me.”

Jackson’s natural ability to jump has brought him national recognition.

He broke his first long jump record at age 7 on July 5, 2006, at the AAU Track and Field Championships in Orlando by posting a distance of 13 feet, 4 inches. He was featured on Jump Texas Magazine for his feat.

He recently broke the long jump record for his age group at the AAU National Junior Olympic Games in Knoxville, Tenn. by leaping 15 feet, 3 1/2 inches on August 4.

“I wish I could say he practices hard and trains everyday,” Eddie Ray said. “But the truth is, he doesn’t. He can just do it.”

So far in Jackson’s career, he owns a total of six national records for outdoors and indoors track and field for jumping and is currently ranked second in the nation in his age group for long jump.

He is also ranked 11th in the nation for the 100m dash and triathlon for his age group.

“The long jump is his bread and butter,” Eddie Ray said. “But he has shown potential in the 100m dash, triathlon and high jump. We are going to start focusing on those events also.”

Other than track, Jackson is interested in football and basketball.

“I played with Bret Farve at USM,” Eddie Ray said. “I think he wants to give football a try but I’m not going to push him. He can be great at track if he wants to be.”