Fleming, Trinity track have memorable appearance at state meet
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Trinity Episcopal’s Dee Fleming had a sneaky suspicion he was going to perform well this past weekend at the MAIS AA track and field state championships in Jackson.
The junior standout didn’t disappoint.
The 6-foot-1 Fleming took home first place honors in the triple and long jump events, setting a state record in the long jump with a leap of 22-8 3/4.
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“I put in the work,” Fleming said. “I go up to Natchez High and jump all day. I felt like I’d do good. I knew I would have competition, but I felt like I could take them. I went up there and did what I had to do.”
While Fleming was more than excited for his record setting leap, perhaps his title in the triple jump was more impressive as he picked up the event midway through the season.
“(Track coach Graham Roberts) brought it up that I should do it. I didn’t know how to do it. I’ve never done it,” Fleming said. “I watched some YouTube videos on it. I went to Centreville Academy (for a meet) and won it.”
Roberts said his track star’s accomplishments come as no surprise to him as Fleming has a long history of dedication.
“He’s a 3.5 GPA kid, he’s 20-plus on his ACT, he’s a National Honor Society member, that in itself speaks to his work ethic,” Roberts said. “He put in a lot of time working on his steps. Every time he would jump, parents and competitors would say, ‘He’s fun to watch.’”
Fleming, however wasn’t the only Trinity standout performer this past weekend as Kevontaye Caston finished in first in the 100-meter run, and David Jackson came in second place in the high jump.
Fleming, Caston and Jackson also teamed with Jakarius Caston to claim state championships in the 4×100 and 4×200 relays.
“It’s crazy, there’s a lot of God-given talent (at Trinity),” Fleming said. “I’m blessed to have these type of athletes around me.”
Kevontaye won the 100 with a time of 11.11, but Roberts said Kevontaye’s performance could have been even better if not for a false start by an opposing runner on the first try.
“Kevontaye’s goal was to set the state record, and I think he was going to do it,” Roberts said. “He still ran a fast time, but watching him coming out of that first run, he had it.”
Jackson leaped 5-11 to earn his second place finish, but Roberts said his senior athlete was perhaps affected by an earlier start time.
“He won’t make excuses, but I will, because he’s never had to jump at 9 a.m. after a two-hour car ride,” Roberts said. “He’s always had time to get his legs loose, he doesn’t usually jump until noon. But he did a great job, and we’re very proud of him.”
Despite having just six athletes competing, the strong showings were enough to have Trinity finish fourth overall at the meet.
“These guy committed themselves,” Roberts said. “They put in the work. It was all of them. They worked around my schedule. They knew what they wanted to accomplish, and they did a great job.”