By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MURFREESBORO — Gone is his trademark mohawk.
But the same smile that shined in 2011 in Murfreesboro’s Dean A. Hayes Stadium was glowing last Friday near familiar places.
Over the last three season, Brighton Cardinal Malcolm Terry has made the long jump and triple jump pits at the track facility his home away from Tipton County.
Terry shocked the Tennessee track world as a sophomore finishing as a medalist in the Class 3A Triple Jump. Last year Terry participated in three events the Triple, Long and High jumps.
He finished with two medals, a sixth place spot in the Long Jump. And leap of 45-feet, 6.75 inches was good enough for fourth in the Triple Jump last year.
In his final trip to Murfreesboro as a Cardinal Terry was eying gold in the Long and Triple jumps. And his day started with the Long Jump with an attempt of 22 feet, 11.25 inches.
But Phillip Smith of West Creek nailed an attempt slightly more than 23 feet. Terry had one more chance to claim gold.
“I was aiming for first and I had the first place jump,” Terry noted. “But I scratched by a toe. Second place is better than last.”
Terry took silver in his final high school long jump meet. The attempt he scratched on appeared to be good enough to win but the foul cleared the attempt.
Despite coming so close, Terry left the medal stand with a smile and confidence for the upcoming Triple Jump, in which he entered the day with a 45’03.
“All I have to do is hold that second phase longer,” he noted. “That’s all it will take.”
Terry’s technique was working well placing him in second place after the first flight Friday afternoon. Smith was also competing in the Triple Jump and had a leap close to 47 feet.
Terry hit the 45-feet mark in his first three attempts. And just before his final attempt as a Brighton Cardinal, Memphis Central’s Latevius Rayford tried to steal second place away from Terry with his best jump of the day more than 45 feet.
“I saw that he beat me,” Terry recalled. “So I had to get my pride up and jump farther than him. I did and I’m proud of that.”
Terry hit a career best of 46 feet, 3.75 inches to reclaim second place earning his second silver medal of the day.
“I hit a personal best on my final jump, the final attempt of my high school career,” he said. “It’s a good way to go out.”
Terry leaves Brighton with the most medals by a track athlete in school history. Along with Lady Cardinal Kimi Jennings, Terry reached State three years. Jennings earned a fifth and two championships in the Pole Vault.
“I think I made history at the school,” Terry said. “Other than Kimi Jennings, I’m the only person that has been to State this many times.
“I feel proud of what I’ve been able to do the last three years for Brighton,” he added. “I’m very proud. I’ve been up here three years straight and improved every year, feels good to represent Brighton High School. It feels good to have this across my chest.”
Having a chance to represent Brighton three years in a row and wear the school’s name on his jersey, Terry said it was a crew of family, friends and coaches that made it possible.
“It feels good to know that Coach Nick (Buford) helped me out a lot at practice,” he said. “And to use the stuff he has shown me to improve every year is a good feeling.
“Thank you for all you guys’ commitment,” Terry concluded. “You brought me up here. You fed me and you took care of me. All I can say is thank you.”