JEFFERSON CITY — Jazmin McCoy was 9 years old the first time she attempted the long jump. An aunt suggested she do it, sensing McCoy’s speedy, athletic frame would be a perfect fit.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
McCoy left the track that day with fresh bruises on her legs. She had slipped a few times, stepped over the line a few others and hadn’t done much right.
But something about it felt comfortable, as if it was exactly where she belonged.
“It was sloppy,” said McCoy, now a senior at Blue Springs. “But I started thinking I could make something out of this. That’s when it clicked.”
McCoy hasn’t forgotten that first day.
She won’t forget the latest step in her journey either.
McCoy was crowned the Missouri Class 4 state champion long jumper for the second consecutive year Friday, cruising to victory at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Her leap of 18 feet, 9 inches was more than a foot better than second-place Kezia Martin of Jefferson City, who jumped 17-61/2.
“I think this one was better because I had friends who (qualified) with me,” said McCoy, who won last year while at North Kansas City. “I think I enjoyed that more.”
McCoy will run in the 100- and 200-meter dashes Saturday and anchor Blue Springs’ 4x200 relay team.
Up and down day for Grandview
By the time the high jump was down to two competitors Friday, Grandview junior Harvey Kendall had yet to miss.
Southern Boone junior Landon Bartel, however, surpassed 6-8 on his next turn, and Kendall followed with three consecutive misses to settle for second place.
“I feel like I had that last jump,” Kendall said. “If I had only snapped my feet, I would’ve cleared that height.”
Instead, Kendall will look for his first career gold medal in the triple jump and 110-meter hurdles Saturday.
Grandview’s chances to defend its back-to-back Class 3 state championships took a severe hit when junior Jaymes Kelly suffered an Achilles injury after crossing the finish line in first place in the 200-meter dash preliminary race.
Earlier in the day, Kelly qualified second in the 100 dash and also ran a leg of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams, both of which qualified first.
Liberty’s Glenn second in pole vault
After seven years as a gymnast, Liberty senior Heather Glenn was searching for something new as she entered high school. A friend told her that gymnasts usually make good pole vaulters.
That’s looking like pretty good advice.
Three years later, Glenn capped off her high school career with a second-place finish in the Class 4 pole vault. Jackson junior Sierra Maddox won, clearing 12-6. Glenn failed to match.
“When I first started doing this, I had pretty good height, but I no technique whatsoever,” Glenn said. “I came out here hoping to set a new (personal record) today, but I think I have to be happy with second place.”
More Wildcats on the move
Both the girls and boys Blue Springs track and field teams sit in second place heading into Saturday.
Senior Tyra Bickham placed second in the discus, finishing runner-up to Jackson’s Paden Wachter. Fort Osage junior Asia Cole, the event’s defending champion, settled for fifth.
Wildcats sophomore Khalil Davis took second in the shot put. As expected, Timberland’s Josh McDonald ran away from the pack to place first.
“It was pretty exciting to perform in front of all these people,” Davis said. “I always do better when there’s a crowd.”
• St. Teresa’s Academy finished second in the 4x800 relay. Stars senior Courtney Coppinger later placed third in the two-mile.
• Smithville junior Miranda Migletz took third in the Class 3 high jump.
• Truman junior Cole Rockhold placed third in the 1,600-meter race
To reach Sam McDowell, send email to email@example.com.