Ogden wins three state titles

Published 12:38 am Sunday, May 4, 2008

CLINTON — Jheri Ogden had high expectations going into Saturday’s MPSA Class AA State Track Meet at Mississippi College, but even she couldn’t have imagined just how great her day would turn out to be.

The Trinity Episcopal sophomore won the state title in the 3,200 meter, 1,600 meter and 800 meter runs. She also shattered the state record in the 3,200 meters.

“I never could have imagined it,” Ogden said. “I don’t know what to say. It was amazing.”

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Ogden won all three events in last week’s South State meet, so she was one of the favorites coming into the state meet, but she eviscerated the field on Saturday, beginning with her record-breaking run in the 3,200 meters.

She finished the race in 12:10, breaking the old record by 14 seconds. The record was held by current Ole Miss and former Simpson Academy track star Julie Little.

The record was even more special to Ogden, as Little was one of the runners she looked up to when she was starting out in the sport.

“I always looked up to her as a runner,” Ogden said. “She was just always very good. It’s an honor to be able to break her record.”

After winning the 3,200, Ogden took about a 3-hour break before coming back and winning the 1,600 meters with a time of 5:30, and then followed that up with a victory in the 800 meters with a time of 2:25.83.

“She is just a special person,” Trinity track coach Melanie Hall said. “She’s got the complete package, mentally, physically and spiritually. She’s a champion and she ran today with the heart of a champion.”

Doug Broome, who has been training Ogden for the last six weeks, said the day came out better than could have been imagined.

“It’s one of those days she’ll never forget,” Broome said. “A three-peat (winning all three distance events) is something that few athletes can do at any level. Winning those races back-to-back-to-back is very special.”