Hayes looks to finish healthy, strong for Sherando

Sherando's Jacquari Hayes, left, wins the 100-meter dash in the Conference 21 Track and Field meet on May 19 at Handley. Hayes is looking to build on last year's success. Rich Cooley/Daily file

STEPHENS CITY — Jacquari Hayes had one of his best days of the season in the Conference 21 West track meet last year. He won three titles, but it was the last highlight of the season for him.

The Sherando senior suffered an injury warming up for the Region 4A West meet, and yet another one during the Group 4A state meet. The way last season ended motivates Hayes this year.

“I really didn’t want to finish like that,” Hayes said. “That really hurt me. So this year I’m trying to go out and finish strong, especially this being my last season.”

Sherando track and field coach Jamie McCarty said they will make sure they pace Hayes throughout the season and not overuse him in the regular season.

Hayes can do a little bit of everything. In the Conference 21 West meet last year he won the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and the triple jump. He was second in the long jump and tied for fourth in the high jump.

Hayes said that he suffered a bruised heel warming up for the regional meet and had to pull out. He said it was still bothering him at the state meet, and then he also tweaked his ankles at the state meet.

McCarty said that he thinks Hayes, who also plays both football and basketball, is stronger this season, which could help him on the track.

McCarty said playing three sports is beneficial for Hayes.

“You don’t see that much nowadays,” McCarty said. “So I think to be able to do that benefits him because he stays active all year, and he gets exposed to different things. I think that makes the transition into the events that he does that much easier.”

Hayes said he likes the jumping events better than the sprints.

“I really like jumping events especially long jump, because you just go out and do it,” Hayes said. “You can critique a few things here and there, but it’s either you can do it or you can’t. At first I did not want to do triple jump. After I got the form down and people were telling me what you should do and what you shouldn’t do I actually started to like it.”

Hayes is closing in on a few school records. Hayes had a 21-10 last year in the long jump and the school record is a 22-03, and he said he feels the triple jump record is within his reach.

“I definitely want the long jump record cause it’s real close,” Hayes said. “And I wouldn’t mind the triple jump either. So those are in my mind too.”

In addition to his individual events, Hayes will also be on the 4×100-meter relay team this season.

He said he enjoys running on the relays too. He said with the addition of T.J. Washington and Aaron Banks to the track team this year he thinks they will do well in the 4×100 relay.

“I think we have a pretty strong relay team,” Hayes said. “It’s fun when you’re winning. Last year we had to mix people in and stuff. We never knew how we were going to do with that. So it’s definitely fun when you’re winning.”

McCarty said that he thinks Hayes could have another strong season for the Warriors.

“We know what he’s done in the past, and we’re hoping that he can build on that and take that next step,” McCarty said. “And if he takes that next step the sky’s the limit for him.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com