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History-making Lady Jays made 'more of an impact than we thought we would'


With 11 State medals, Jayleign Flood ends her career as the most decorated runner in the Clever girls track program’s history and  has been at the forefront of the Lady Jays’ surge to state prominence.

Flood was 4-for-4 over the past four years in regard to qualifying for State in four events in each of her freshman, sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

“There's not a lot of kids at any school who have been an 11-time all-state athlete,” Clever coach Luke Brosius said.

Flood capped her career last weekend by running the anchor leg on the Lady Jays’ 4 x 200 relay that was fifth (1:45.14), placing sixth in the 400 (59.55) and running the anchor on Clever’s 4 x 400 relay that was seventh (4:11.42).

Flood’s highest finish at State was as part of the Lady Jays’ 4 x 400 relay that was fourth (4:09.43) last year.

She also made State in the 100 and 200.

Looking back, Flood is relatively content with her 11 medals.

“There were a couple races that were kind of ‘bummy' where I finished super close to being all-state,” she said. “I'm really proud. I came in (to high school) with no experience and worked hard for it. It's been an honor to be a part of our program. It wouldn't have been possible without the people who are around me every day, like my family and coaches.”

Altogether, the Lady Jays combined to collect 13 State medals this year in the triple jump, long jump, high jump, 100 hurdles, 400, 4 x 200 relay and 4 x 400 relay, culminating in Maliya Clark’s gold medal in the triple jump.

Clark is the Lady Jays’ first four-time State medalist in one year.

Clever finished sixth in the Class 3 team standings.

Flood, Clark, Riley Britton and Brylie Hicks were all seniors this year.

“I'm proud of the girls,” Brosius said. “They’ve had a phenomenal run. They had a phenomenal year and some of them a phenomenal four years.”

"We all have improved and found where we belonged," Clark said. "Everyone found confidence in themselves and we all hyped each other up."

All this from a program that was barely a blip on the radar four years ago.

“Our freshman year, we joined and there were maybe eight girls,” Britton said. “After we made it to State our freshman and sophomore years, the program got bigger. We made more of an impact than we thought we would. I'm glad we got it going.”

Both Flood and Britton were surprised what their niche turned out to be.

“One of the first days of practices we were kind of seeing what everyone could do and I thought I would be a short-sprint person,” Flood said. “The first day I ran a 400 I was on second away from the school record. Coach was like, 'Yep, you're a 400 runner.’”

“When I was in seventh grade, I thought I would be a sprinter. I was definitely wrong,” Britton said. “Nobody was in the 800, so coach threw me in there and I did really good. I stuck with it.”

Hicks joined the track team for the first time this spring. She was part of the Lady Jays’ 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and 4 x 800 relays.

“I'm really glad I came out,” Hicks said. “This year has been amazing, with all we've won and how good we are. We’ve accomplished a lot.”

Brosius previously coached basketball at Clever and has been courtisde the past two winters for Hurley. He has also proven his worth as a nine-year track coach. 

“He's improved with us,” Flood said. “He's put in a lot of work to become a better coach and help make us better.”