It’s the 12th jump of the day. Six long jumps earlier and now this will be the sixth triple jump. This will be my final jump of the triple jump competition; I have to jump 12.43 meters to qualify for conference. My body is tired from repeatedly jumping into the pit of sand over the course of this meet. I have qualified for zero conference championship events up to this point in my track career. I can hear my teammates yelling words of encouragement. I put my hands together, close my eyes, and can feel adrenaline pulsating through my body. I begin to sprint….
What led up to this moment? A summer filled with sprint training, sweating in the sun with my teammates by my side. Constantly talking to each other about our goals and what we hope to accomplish once the track season starts. Then there was the frustration of repeatedly failing to reach my goals in the long jump throughout the semester. Meet after meet jumping into the pit of sand, standing up dusting myself off, and hearing a measurement that I did not want to hear. Through the good and the bad, my teammates cheered for me just as loud. Through the good and the bad my teammates always had my back.
It was a Monday when my coaches came to me to discuss triple jumping at the meet on Friday. Automatically I got excited as I had been wanting to participate in the triple jump for the past year. While I had never triple jumped before in my life I felt well prepared physically thanks to our weight training program. I had also always participated in the bounding exercises so my coaches were confident that that would translate to triple jump. On Tuesday I participated in my first triple jump practice and it went pretty well, so my coaches decided to move forward with putting me in the triple jump for Friday’s meet.
This is when I started to lean onto the knowledge of my teammates. I had the benefit of having three teammates who are top triple jumpers in our conference. They were able to give me great advice on triple jumping technique and even were able to find videos for me to watch that covered the fundamentals of the event. Over the next couple of days, I watched these videos frequently and found additional videos to add to my knowledge of the event. Before I knew it, meet day was here.
The meet was late in the day so I spent the morning and afternoon preparing myself mentally and focusing on eating healthy foods and drinking a lot of water. Before long it was time to head over to the track and start warming up for the meet. As I warmed up I felt an excited nervous energy flow through my body. After completing my warm-up, I competed in the long jump and did pretty well as I was able to set my indoor personal record. I have to credit the attention to detail my coaches have put into my form as a major reason I was able to accomplish this personal record.
After the long jump, I had a little over a half-hour before it was time for me to triple jump. I did my best to stay loose and warm without using too much energy. My first ever full approach triple jump ended with me fouling as I was not able to complete the step portion of the triple jump. One jump down, five to go. After that jump, my teammate came to me and stressed that I need to land flat-footed in order to successfully jump. Following this advice allowed me to complete my first ever successful triple jump and while it wasn’t very far it gave me confidence. My third jump had potential but I jumped from too far behind the board which limited the distance I traveled. My fourth jump brought me a great amount of hope, as it was my first jump over 12 meters and I was getting closer and closer to the distance I would need to reach in order to make it to conference. Knowing I only had two jumps left, I ran down the triple jump runway as hard as I could for my fourth one and jumped when I got to the board but I lost focus and forgot to flatten my foot which caused me to foul.
It’s the 12th jump of the day. Six long jumps earlier and now this will be the sixth triple jump. This will be my final jump of the triple jump competition; I have to jump 12.43 meters to qualify for conference. My body is tired from repeatedly jumping into the pit of sand over the course of this meet. I have qualified for zero conference championship events up to this point in my track career. I can hear my teammates yelling words of encouragement. I put my hands together, close my eyes, and can feel adrenaline pulsating through my body. I begin to sprint, I reach the board and initiate the first phase of the triple jump; stay low and stay flat, I tell myself. I make it into the second phase smoothly before getting to the final jump. I land in the sand and here my teammate screams, “YESSSSSS.” After a measurement my teammate's scream was confirmed, I had qualified for conference championships in the triple jump! My teammates and I all began to celebrate, bumping chests and hugging each other. Having been by my side through all the ups and downs, my teammates knew how much work I had put into this moment and were happy to see me succeed. I can not say enough how valuable it has been to have them supporting me over the past four years, and I surely couldn’t have accomplished what I have so far without them.
As a graduating senior I have to say so far qualifying for conference championships was the most exciting moment of my track and field career. What made it so exciting though was the support of my teammates, and what made it possible was them always having my back. While track and field is a sport where you compete individually, you can’t accomplish half of your potential without a strong support system. My teammates at Oberlin have always been a strong support system for me on and off the track, which helps me reach my potential and accomplish my goals.
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November 5, 2022