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by Gray Yates, Head Girls Track Coach

This article is part two of a reflection series entitled The Last Dance, inspired by the ’96 Chicago Bulls documentary. The original Last Dance 10-part documentary series provided an in-depth look at the greatness of the Chicago Bulls‘ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season for the team in 1997-98. The Mount de Sales Academy girls 4×100 meter relay team has been together for three years and owns school records for the 4×100 as well as individual events. Katelyn Perazzola, Jai Dudley, Graham Blackwell, and Jordan Kelly make up this team and hold the title of defending state champions. Reflections included within The Last Dance series will be published after competitions. 

Macon, Georgia has a special history in track and field. If you look at the record books from the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) you’ll see a lot of representation from Bibb County. Every year at First Presbyterian Day School (FPD), we have a chance to honor one of the foundational parts of the history of Coach Dick Frame at the annual track meet they hold in his honor. Our history makers were right at home as they collected their third straight title at this meet by running their best time of the season (49.73). 

Part of the joy of coaching an elite group/athlete is seeing how other coaches and athletes view them. No matter if it is from a respectful, resentful, or curious standpoint you can tell that all the attention is focused on the elite standard. That is the main memory I will take away from our groups’ first race in Macon this year. The instant we arrived, I was asked by three coaches about this group of young ladies. The instant the first call was made it was noticeable that our team was on the infield to warm up. The instant that our girls finished their race, the anchor leg from a Macon school rushed to talk to our girls about their times. Above all, I see a deep respect our boys’ team and our second girls’ 4×100 team have for this group, and apparently, it’s working as they finished 1st and 4th respectively. 

Three years of memories together. As we wind down this Lenten season there isn’t a number more perfectly suited for this team. Each girl has individual things to achieve between now and the region meet on April 17th, but they are all so committed to the group and to something more than themselves. Something tells me we have lots more memories to make.

Read the Queens Have Returned, Part I by Coach Gray Yates HERE.

About Mount de Sales Academy

Mount de Sales Academy, an independent Catholic school established in 1876 and sponsored and inspired by the Sisters of Mercy, is a Christ-centered college preparatory community of learners who are poised to discover, challenged to innovate, and motivated to serve.