recordbreaker

Jacksonville High School track coach Angela Moon presents Ashley Hamilton, 15, with a commemorative plaque. Hamilton broke Moon’s middle school long jump record of 16-2 1/2 with a jump of 16-5 1/2 on April 4. Moon set the record in 1983.

In only her second year of long jumping, Ashley Hamilton is a record holder.

At the middle school district track meet in Whitehouse on April 4, Hamilton — then an eighth grader — broke the Jacksonville Middle School long jump record of 16-2 1/2 with a jump of 16-5 1/2 on her second attempt in the meet.

“I was happy,” Hamilton said. “My friends and I were running around yelling and stuff about me breaking the record.”

Hamilton said Jacksonville Middle School track coach Evan Harrison gave her a pep talk before breaking the record.

“At first I was nervous because I heard the girl from Pine Tree jumped 17 feet,” Hamilton said. “My coach told me to try to beat a record and that’s what I did.”

The previous record was held by Hamilton’s soon-to-be Jacksonville High School track coach Angela Moon, who set the long jump record in 1983.

Before the meet, Moon said she heard from Harrison that Hamilton was previously close to breaking her 23-year-old record — a record Moon said she thought was already broken — and paid a visit to Hamilton at practice.

“Coach Harrison told me she had got close to breaking it and I saw her one day at practice and I told her ‘You’re not going to break that record, so you might as well quit,’” Moon said jokingly. “The next thing I know, they told me she had broke it.”

Although Hamilton didn’t win the long jump title, she said breaking the record was an accomplishment.

“I was proud of myself, because I didn’t think I was going to really do it,” Hamilton said.

Moon said she is expecting big things from Hamilton when she gets to JHS.

“She’s a freshman and she broke that record of 16 feet 2 1/2 inches, so she better get to the state track meet her first year,” Moon said.

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