On May 14, the Palm Beach Central High School girls 4×100-meter relay team sprinted into the history books by winning the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 4A state title at the University of Florida’s Percy Beard track complex in Gainesville.
The four members of Palm Beach Central’s winning relay team were freshman Brooke Jacob, senior Jada Smith, junior Adina Jackson and freshman Brielle Mindley.
This quartet completed one lap around the track in 46.47 seconds. That time was a new school record for girls track at Palm Beach Central.
According to PBCHS head girls track coach Shannah Etches, she was proud of her relay team’s ability to work as one unit. Her last comment to her relay squad was to enjoy the moment.
“My final thought to the girls was to have fun,” Etches said.
In the build-up to the race, Etches’ biggest concerns was for Brooke Jacob to have a strong start and for each girl to have a clean exchange of the baton.
“Brooke and I worked on her start and turnover leading up to the state meet,” Etches recalled. “I knew if she had a great start, it would be a great race. Jada was strong down the back stretch, Adina tore up the curve and Brielle took it home! I was at the top of the stands jumping and screaming the entire race. It was an emotional and amazing race.”
In addition to winning the Class 4A state title, this Palm Beach Central foursome also won the 4×100-meter relay titles earlier this spring at the District 11 and Region 3 track meets.
Etches knows that her relay squad had a team-first philosophy with a specific focus on trust, respect and fun.
“The relationship and trust that the girls developed over the season is why they won,” she said.
In addition to winning the relay, three of the girls competed in other events in Gainesville at the Class 4A state meet.
Smith placed third in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Mindley was sixth in the 100-meter dash and 12th place in the 200-meter dash. Jackson recorded a fifth-place finish in the long jump and seventh in the triple jump.
In the overall team totals, Palm Beach Central earned 31 points to finish in seventh place in the team standings.