Smithville High School junior Trace Mosby has been a multi-sport athlete her entire life, but a decision to play two sports this spring is built around a strategical concept.
Saving her legs.
Last spring, Mosby began to notice that many of her competitors in the long jump were wearing down at the end of the season. It’s an event that slowly exhausts the muscles in her legs, she says, and the consistent usage doesn’t allow enough recovery time.
So this season, she is spending her daily practice time on the soccer field and saving her long jump exercises for the actual meets — with the former essentially serving as a daily workout for the latter.
It’s been a successful plan thus far.
Mosby won the long jump at the 89th Kansas Relays in Lawrence on Saturday with a leap of 18 feet, 8 1/2 inches at Rock Chalk Park.
“My legs are fresh all the time,” she said. “The constant pounding on your legs with jumping, it can really wear you down. So that’s the purpose of doing soccer and track — to save my legs for jumping. I feel so much better (this year).”
The Kansas Relays crowned a host of other winners from the Northland on Friday and Saturday.
Kearney junior Clayton Adams won the boys 3,200-meter run on Friday, narrowly besting Shawnee Mission North’s Belesti Akalu, who was the Kansas Class 6A cross county state champion in the fall.
Park Hill senior Christopher Nilsen set a new Kansas Relays record when he eclipsed 17 feet, 6 1/2 inches in the boys pole vault. The previous record, held by Marlow (Okla.) athlete Joe Dial, was set in 1980.
Nilsen said his goal is to clear 18 feet this season.
“I’ve cleared it a couple of times in practice, but the goal is to do it in a competition,” Nilsen said.