MARCH 11, 2020 - ATLANTA - A few years ago, the Kipp Atlanta Collegiate High School track & field team wasn't nearly what it is today. Going from just about a dozen athletes to almost 40 students, the pillars of their growth and success include four dominant ladies on their 4x100m relay team.
"Kaniya, Tynia, Jasmine and Jasquel are really just incredible people. They are incredible students. They are incredible athletes. It's been really cool to see them grow together," Coach Jerry Kosoff said.
Their 4x100m relay team consists of first leg junior Kaniya Ross, senior Tynia Baker, senior Jasmine Strickland and the anchor, junior Jasquel Spicer. Coach Kosoff said all four excel in the classroom as honor roll students and take part in community service projects. Best of all, their relationship shines on the track by how well they work together.
"These really are my sisters and my family and if all else fails I know they've got my back," said Spicer.
The Warrior's track & field coach said they are the kindest and funniest of their team, but when they put on their spikes and toe the line, a flip switches.
"They don't want to lose and they do not like losing," Coach Kosoff said.
Their relay team took first at the 2019 Region Championships with 49.39 and won the 2019 Sectional Championships with a 49.37.
"No one is stubborn, so once they get [a bad] handoff it'll be, 'Hey, you messed up on this. Alright, cool we'll fix it,'" said Strickland.
With APS City Championships coming up on March 28 and 31 at Lakewood Stadium, the ladies of Kipp Atlanta Collegiate are ready to turn up the heat and prove they are contenders.
"It's not us winning. It's us working together, growing and showing APS, 'Hey, we're not just some charter school in the middle of nowhere," said Baker.
Last year, the relay team came up short at the 2A State Championships taking second with 49.04s behind Elbert County who ran 48.55.
"It's a drive not only to be number one in the state but to also better ourselves as individuals and be role models for the incoming relay teams."