Track Champion Jumps to Clemson
Since Wednesday morning, student athletes across the country have been signing on the dotted line picking up their college scholarships.
A local track star with some big time college offers decided to hold off and wait until Thursday morning to make her decision. That delay made her signing one of the last in Southwest Georgia- odd for a girl that's so used to coming in first.
Behind cheers from friends and family of "pick a hat", Monroe's 10-time Georgia state track champion Mimieux Land surprised everyone. The star long and triple jumper picked Clemson over the supposed favorite Florida Gators. The decision surprised many but it didn't surprise Land.
"Last night, I was able to sleep like a baby without any worries and Clemson was my choice," Land said shedding a big smile.
Land was surrounded by the coaches that influenced her most throughout middle and high school, but no coaching was necessary on this day at Monroe Comprehensive. The coaches that pushed her to break the triple jump state record were only there for support
"I got to switch and put this (hat) on now," said former coach Paul Jones donning a purple Clemson hat. "I just thank god. Her accomplishments have been great. She worked hard and she's a team player."
"She deserves it. She's definitely earned it and I'm just excited that I'm here and able to share in this day with her," said Octavia Jones, who coached Land for the first two years of high school.
"Everybody knows she's smartâ|she's a scholar. But in addition to thatâ|she has awesome athletic ability," current head coach Latoya Johnson said.
The Tornado coach said Land always delivers for her three-time 3A state championship team. It was the Clemson Tiger track team that delivered in making Land feel at home.
"Listening to Clemson students and hearing how they're all one and everyone seems to be a family. It made me think that's what I have here in Albany," Land said.
Known to most simply as Mimi, the celebration for this champion jumper will last throughout the day and perhaps the week. But Land knows she hasn't reached the finish line- there's still more races to run and jump on the Tornado track team
"Next three months will be buckling down and getting Monroe Comprehensive High School their fourth straight state title in a row," Land said.