Lameria Hampton found her stride this track season.
Hampton, who began the year as an MLK College Prep senior but is now a proud alumna, races on to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association State Track Championship.
“I’m feeling confident and nervous cause I haven’t done anything this big before,” Hampton said. “I’m trying to get myself up there to where I’m not that nervous.”
Hampton is the 25th track star in MLK College Prep’s history to qualify for the state championship, but she hopes to be the first to bring home a trophy.
There has been a significant change in Hampton from the beginning of the season to now the state championship.
“I like to say, at first, Coach Stringfellow was going to cut me because I played too much during practice,” Hampton explained as she laughed. “And then he realized when it’s meet time; I get serious. So he decided to keep me on, and that’s where it brought me.”
Hampton might have played too much in her own eyes, but a different coach remembers her a little differently.
“One of the things about Lameria is, she’s a leader,” said Anthony Walton, MLK College Prep track coach. “She takes pride in actually leading by example. She’s very, very manageable, and I’ve never had any issues with her.”
Both Hampton and Walton can agree on the immense growth in the competitor.
“I basically didn’t show too much in practice because it’s practice. I didn’t work too hard,” Hampton said. “Then when it was time for a meet, and the more I practiced, that’s when I realized I got faster.”
Hampton explained that her average time for finishing a race usually fell between 13 and 14 seconds. However, in her last race, she finished in 12.86 seconds. Hampton’s fast time allowed her to beat out two of her opponents, who usually beat her during the season, to qualify for the state championship.
“She’s ranked in the top three in times,” Walton said. “Once the race starts, she actually accelerates as the race goes. So she may start off just a couple of steps slow; however, her speed picks up tremendously, and she’s able to overcome and generally win most of her races.”
Wednesday, Hampton will compete in the TSSAA State Track Championship 100-meter dash.
Race to victory Lameria!