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by Gray Yates, Head Girls Track Coach

This article is part three (the finale) 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 have been published after competitions. 

Rings and Things – The Finale

The end of the school year is always such a whirlwind. I can’t think of anyone who experiences this more than a senior getting ready to graduate. Wednesday, our team of girls were awarded the school’s team of the year during the first annual Montys Awards. By the end of the day, they had their championship rings from last season, one senior had been named female athlete of the year while another broke the school record for the 100m. As a group, we ran 49.70 and will be the top seed in next week’s state meet by about a second.

My biggest takeaway last night was how this group of four girls led us to the best team score in the region meet in the last 20 years. For the first time ever our best athletes competed in multiple relays and stretched themselves across multiple events. In a world where individual achievements sometimes seem more significant, it was awesome to see our eighth ninth, and tenth grade girls respond to true senior leadership.

On top of that, we are currently taking 28 student-athletes to the state track meet (we took 14 last year). Among those 28 will be our girls 4 x 100 B team. I can’t help but think back to 2022 when Katelyn, Jai, Graham, and Jordan laid a foundation for what so many are currently benefiting from. These girls were present as freshmen and sophomores, taking on the best in the state of Georgia, and now as juniors and seniors, they will have their last opportunity together to be the best in the state of Georgia.

Read the Queens Have Returned, Part II  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.