ALL HIS VAULT: Natchez pole vaulter prepares for South State
Published 12:02 am Thursday, April 28, 2016
NATCHEZ — Natchez High School track and field athlete Brandon Green likes the Bulldogs’ chances to foster a large roster at the state championship meet in two weeks, but first runners must qualify at the MHSAA 5A-6A South State Championship meet Saturday at Long Beach High School.
“We’ve got a big team, it’s possible we can win state,” Green said. “We’ve got someone for everything.”
Natchez boys and girls track and field teams both placed first in the Regional Championship meet last week. Both teams posted a score of 187.
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Green competes in the high jump, pole vault and 400-meter dash for Natchez. Green placed first in the pole vault with a nine-foot, six-inch mark and the 400-meter dash 51.49 seconds at Regionals.
Green said he’s looked at times and measurements from around the state and he said he stacks up well against the competition in all of his primary events.
During Wednesday’s practice, Green set up — behind the football goal post — a high jump mat and a bungee cord that spanned across two poles.
He takes repetitions, approximately 10 to 15, jogging a U-shaped route to the mat before jumping sideways off one leg, over the cord.
“It’s like you hit a layup,” Green said. “It’s more about getting up than a running start.”
Green said has been battling through some pain when he jumps due to some built up scar tissue in his left knee.
Green said the injury stems back to when he torn his ACL in eighth grade. He said it was hard for him to stay off his knee when he was younger, so it never heeled back the proper way.
“I had a cast on my right leg, and I could tell one leg was bigger than the other,” Green said. “My right leg was stronger.”
Green said the scar tissue doesn’t bother him while he runs.
Green said, since joining the Natchez track team in eight grade, he has run almost every event.
Natchez track and field coach Larry Wesley said he has been fielding calls from Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State, all inquiring about Green.
Wesley said he is trying to sell Green to interested schools as a decathlete, an athlete who competes in multiple track and field events.
“If you know anything about track, you don’t have many pole vaulters or high jumpers,” Wesley said. “We need him in those events.”