The Kats are led by a pair of perennial state qualifiers in seniors Summer Blackamore and Anh Pham.
Blackamore, an Indiana State recruit, is a three-time state qualifier in the shot put, finishing fifth a season ago. She also finished seventh in the discus at the state finals, and will lead the throwing crew.
Pham is a two-time state qualifier in the pole vault, and is hoping for a little bit better luck this season after entering the state finals with injuries the past two seasons.
Seniors Brianna Lancaster and Raven Pugh return to a 4x100 relay team which finished 17th in the state finals a season ago. They will be joined in the sprints by junior Jania Eddington, a transfer from Taylor, as well as sophomores Nabria Richardson and Quaynika Merriweather and freshman Jayda Andrews.
Pugh and Lancaster are also the team’s top hurdlers.
Freshman Lana Pham and sophomore Deju Miller are the team’s top high jumpers. Miller was the sectional runner-up a season ago as a freshman.
Sophomore Taylor Coram and freshman Ja’Lyn Thompson will handle long jumping duties.
Lana Pham and freshman Cinnamon Andrews will lead the distance crew, where they will be joined by junior Meghan Pier, sophomore Grace Burton and freshman Brooke Smith.
“We want to be the best and compete against the very best,” Jackson said. “That’s the only way in this sport you get better. That’s why you have to take your hat off to the ladies who started training in the summer for an opportunity to compete the first weekend in June. That type of dedication is rare. That’s why I am endeared to this team and program.”
The Purple Tigers return nearly all of their points from last season’s sectional runner-up finish, and with a pair of school records already falling early in the season, coach Mary Clem is hopeful that her team can break through and win the program’s first sectional title.