Janie O'Connor is the 18th fastest returner in the nation in the 400m. Photo by Pat Gavin.
While Janie O'Connor is the returning 200m and 400m state champion and has won six individual state titles, the competition is certainly mounting against Lousiana's queen of sprints. O'Connor will face competition from many including indoor state 400m champ Tahja Mitchell. Mitchell was third in both the 100m and 200m and second in the 400 at the state meet last spring. Her personal best of 55.08 was the 18th best time for sophomores in the nation last year. She had a strong indoor season running times of 7.78 and 55.99. Her 400 not only helped her defeat O'Connor at the indoor state meet, but it was also the 8th fastest time for juniors this indoor season. Among many others, the athletes to watch this spring include Taylor Shaw, Jasmine Hall, Indya Jackson. Jackson, just a sophomore, proved she will be a factor this season by placing second at the indoor state in the 400 meet this winter, beating out O'Connor.
On the boy's side, the state champions over 400m in 3A, 4A and 5A are all returning. The fastest of these is Jandon Briscoe who holds PRs of 21.48 and 47.24. He appears to be off to a strong senior campaign having broken 50 twice indoors including a Division 1 Indoor State Championship. While Briscoe has the fastest PR over 400 in the state, Darius Davis had a faster time this indoor season running 48.44. Also, he beat Briscoe in the one head-to-head matchup they had at the Mobile Challenge of Champions. Other contenders will be Jermie Walker, Xayier Bell, and Cody Branch. Branch had a strong indoor season running times of 7.11, 21.89, and 49.80.
Note: Only the top 10 athletes from our ratings of the combined 200m/400m appear in the poll.