- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Athletic talent certainly runs in NFL star Robert Quinn’s family.

Jasmine Quinn, the younger sister of the St. Louis’ Rams defensive lineman, broke won four state titles for the second straight year at the South Carolina High School League track and field championships on Saturday.

The Fort Dorchester High School athlete got things started Friday night when she won the long jump with a distance of 20 feet, 2¼ inches, bettering the mark of 19-11½ that stood since 1982. Quinn picked up where she left off in the two-day meet by winning the 100-meter hurdles crown in a record time of 13.54 seconds, topping her record-setting run in the meet one year ago.

Quinn also won the 100 and 200 meter titles for the second straight season.

“It went well,” Jasmine Quinn said. “I wanted to run faster times. But I brought home four more golds and I’m happy with that.”

Quinn couldn’t have done much better. She won four titles at the 2013 meet as a junior and was the favorite for a dazzling performance each time she lined up this season. But Quinn said she kept the pressure in check and was able to keep her success going.

That doesn’t sound much different than her older brother, who had his share of hurdles to overcome to find NFL success.

As one of the top high school players in South Carolina, Robert Quinn had his senior season cut short after surgery for a benign brain tumor. In college at North Carolina, Quinn was forced to miss his junior season when he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

He’s had nothing but success since being drafted No. 14 overall by the Rams in 2011. Last season, Quinn led the NFL with 19 sacks and added seven forced fumbles on his way to his first Pro Bowl.

Jasmine says she’ll get messages or calls from her big brother with congratulations for her achievements. Robert had planned to be at Spring Valley High School’s track for the meet. “But there was an emergency, I think, and he couldn’t make it,” she said.

That didn’t slow Jasmine Quinn down one bit.

She soared past the long-jump mark that was set in 1982 by Annette Alston of Winyah High, a school no longer in existence. Quinn’s leap was also more than six inches longer than her qualifying jump of 19-5 that seeded her first in the state meet.

Quinn broke out of the blocks first and was never pressured in the hurdles, ending nearly a full second in front of runner-up Kelsey Hayward of J.L. Mann. Quinn’s time surpassed her mark of 13.84 seconds in winning last year’s hurdles event.

State records can only be set at the state championship meet each year.

Quinn left little doubt as to who is the state’s best sprinter with her wins in the 100 and 200 meters. She won the 100 with a time of 11.66 seconds and the 200 in 23.77 seconds, breaking out in front from the gun and not letting anyone catch up.

“I was just trying to stay close to her,” said Conway’s Raven Grant, third in the 100 and second in the 200.

Quinn wasn’t the only competitor with a top pedigree at the meet. The daughter of star-crossed Olympic runner Zola Budd Pieterse, Lisa, was a favorite to defend her title in the 3,200-meter race. Lisa, a junior at Carolina Forest near Myrtle Beach, led after the first six laps of the eight-lap race, but was passed by winner Cate Ambrose of Riverside and Anna Johnson of Dutch Fork to finish third.

Jasmine Quinn’s next task is a summer chasing a spot on the United States’ team for World Junior Championships, set for Eugene, Oregon in July. After that, she’s headed to college at Kentucky, where she thinks she can have a similar impact on the Southeastern Conference track as her brother has had on the NFL.

“I’ll be training harder than I have,” she said. “I’m coming to show them what I can do as a freshman.”



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