Believe it or not, Curtis High School’s Saudia James-Heard and Alexis Scott-Ellis are freshmen.
Both made the kinds of mistakes you might expect from 14-year-olds on Saturday at the 27th annual Viking Relays. James-Heard scratched in the long jump and Scott-Ellis believed she could have performed better in the triple jump.
Then the not-so-freshman-like outputs: James-Heard bested the top triple-jump mark in the state, as recorded on Athletic.net, by more than a foot with a leap of 38 feet, 10 inches. Scott-Ellis was second at 35-03, though she hit 38 feet during the indoor season.
Then they helped Curtis’ 4x200 and 1,600-meter relay teams set meet records. Curtis finished in 1 minute, 45.86 seconds in the 4x200 and 4:05.93 in the 1,600-meter. The Vikings won both the girls (90 points) and boys (84) team titles.
“Just knowing that we were getting frustrated — I was getting frustrated in the long jump, (Scott-Ellis) was getting frustrated in the triple jump,” James-Heard said. “So we knew we had to bring it in the 4x2 and not hold anything back.”
James-Heard recently returned from the New Balance Nationals in New York, where she took third in the triple jump and sixth in the 400.
But she was crying Saturday when she scratched in the long jump.
“She felt like she let the team down,” Curtis coach Sarah Hannula said. “That just shows a lot of character.”
They aren’t the only freshmen on this young Curtis squad. Izaiah Fields won the 100-meter dash in 10.91 seconds — the fourth-best time in the state according to Athletic.net.
“I might not show it right now, but I am so excited,” Hannula said. “It’s just crazy. But the thing for me — yes, we have so many freshmen — but the main thing going forward is keeping these boys and girls going hard. I don’t want them thinking, ‘I made my destination because I broke some records at the Viking Relays.’ No, it’s not over yet. We still have a lot of growing to do.”