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Mydell, Phillips Turn in Strong Efforts at Mustang Madness
Mydell Ties Record
Justice Mydell ties the South Effingham County High School high jump record at 6 ft. 6 in.

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

GUYTON – With only five track and field teams competing in Mustang Madness on Friday, more local athletes had opportunities to fill lanes and try new events at South Effingham High School.

Mustangs Justice Mydell and Tyler Phillips used their opportunities to make encouraging statements for the spring.

Mydell, attempting the high jump for the first time since eighth grade, tied the school record with a jump of 6-6. And Phillips, who missed most of the 2022 track season with a stress fracture, had wins in the 1600 and 3200 to reestablish his local dominance in the distance events.

“Sometimes you’ll go to meets and only be allowed to put two or three in an event,” Mustangs coach Rico Campbell said. “This allowed us to see what our people could do and where they ranked.”

Campbell has almost 100 athletes in his program and quite often teammates are competing in practice just to get their opportunities in meets.

It’s early in the track season, but some of the locals are beginning to stand out. SEHS’ Devin Hallman set personal bests while winning the 400 and 800. Effingham County’s freshman sprinter Jeremiah Chance was a double winner in the 100 and 200. His victory in the 100 was the most competitive race of the night with only .03 of a second separating the top three runners.

ECHS’ Augusta University-bound Brooke Maseda captured victories in the girls’ 1600 and 3200. Teammate Ro Goss had a personal-best jump of 5-2 to win the high jump, gaining an edge over freshman Braylin Nease because of fewer misses. Both girls had Georgia top-25 marks, according to MaxPreps.

Mydell’s 6-6 in the high jump opened the windy day with a highlight leap that ranked as a USA top 25, according to MaxPreps. The senior had been a hurdler during his freshman and sophomore years, then missed most of last spring after having shoulder surgery.

“I was working on getting my form down (in the high jump) and trying to get to six feet,” Mydell said. “(Teammates) kept telling me I was about four inches over, I was like, ‘OK, lets keep going’ and I kept clearing it. I don’t know what came over me, but I’m thankful.”

For Phillips, the evening had its moments of drama. The junior was attempting a rarity – entering the 1600, 800 and 3200 with hopes of competing in all three at region later in the spring. He won his 1600 (with a time of 4:43.10) and 3200 (10:22.19), but tripped at the start of the 800 and didn’t finish.

ECHS’ Levi Thomas used a big kick during the final 50 meters of the 1600, but Phillips held on by .4 of a second.

“I’m a little frustrated with the races because I know I’m in much better fitness than this,” said Phillips, who won region and finished sixth at state in cross country in the fall. “The goal is to go a lot faster, but I got two wins and it feels great.”

Local First-Place Finishers


4 X 100 relay – SEHS (51.57); 1600 – ECHS’ Brooke Maseda (5:54.35); 100 – ECHS’ Dionna Rivers (12.93); 800 – SEHS’ Mia Fitzpatrick (2:38.44); 300 hurdles – SEHS’ Christeon Lewis (52.65); 3200 – Maseda (13:15.86); 4 X 400 relay – SEHS (3:42.66); High jump – ECHS’ Ro Goss (5-2); Pole – SEHS’ Aubrey Edge (8-0); Triple – ECHS’ Kaityn Kidwell (32-8.5); 4 X 200 relay – ECHS (1:54.33)   


4 X 100 relay – ECHS (43.96); 1600 – SEHS’ Tyler Phillips (4:43.10); 400 – SEHS’ Devin Hallman (51.80); 100 – ECHS’ Jeremiah Chance (11.18); 800 – Hallman (2:07.16); 200 – Chance (22.39); 3200 – Phillips (10:22.19); High jump – SEHS’ Justice Mydell (6-6); Pole – SEHS’ Jared Wong (9-0); Long jump – SEHS’ Jamari Fields (20-8); 4 X 200 relay – ECHS (1:34.42); 4 X 800 relay – SEHS (8:37.54)