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North's Jackson ends career with state title

Staff Photo: John Bohn Malcolm Jackson of North Gwinnett competes in the Class AAAAA triple jump in the boys state championship track and field meet.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Malcolm Jackson of North Gwinnett competes in the Class AAAAA triple jump in the boys state championship track and field meet.

A few hours before leaving for the boys state track and field championship last week, Malcolm Jackson sat in the North Gwinnett attendance office with his eyes closed.

He was was going through his mind his technique and how he wanted to perform later that day.

When he opened his eyes, there was half a dozen people starring at him.

"It was kind of funny," he said. "It helped me in the long run, though. It was a mental rep and it helped me a lot."

Jackson went on later that day to win the Class AAAAA state championship in the triple jump.

The North senior not only won the title, but set a new personal record in the process. Jackson cleared 48 feet, 1 inches in the final jump of his career.

Jackson is the third person in North's long history to win a boys track state title and the first since Kibwe Johnson in 1998.

"It felt good doing well for the school and the community," Jackson said. "I wanted to leave with some kind of championship. I automatically go down in the school's hall of fame."

Jackson scratched on his first two attempts of the state meet and on his final jump of the preliminaries jumped 42-0 . That was good enough to put him in first place. Jackson decided to skip his first jump in the finals.

"I got my head right and went through my technique," Jackson said.

Jackson came back and hit the 48-1 mark to break his hold PR of 46-10.

"He could have said I'm done," North Gwinnett coach Troy Hobbs said. "He wanted to go to 47. He wanted to end his career on a high note and he did."

The state tittle complete a dominant season for Jackson. The senior won the Gwinnett County championship, Region 7-AAAAA title and was first at the East Sectional. He won every meet but one, losing by an inch at Parkview, this season.

"It's just amazing what he was able to accomplish this year in triple jump," Hobbs said.

Jackson, who was an all-county defensive back in football, will play football at Charleston Southern later this year.