I didn't want to write about these two meets until they were completely finalized. Call me superstitious but I wanted to wait until today because I didn't want to "jinx" anything.
We held regionals at home this year, and the meet went extremely well. It rained the entire night, but the officials, meet manager, etc. were absolutely amazing! I get a little nervous about rain due to it making the boards slippery (at times), but we had no issues; and the jumps were great.
We penned in 7 spots for the jumpers this year, and 6 of them advanced to sectionals! The one athlete that did not is a sophomore that made some HUGE gains this year; and although he didn't make it through he gained experience at a big-time meet!
My athletes braved the rain and never once said anything negative about the weather the entire night. They kept their heads clear the entire time and never once allowed crappy weather to create second-guesses. Other teams (both coaches and athletes) though, were walking around openly talking about their disgust with the weather. One piece of advice to any coaches out there: if you don't make it a big deal neither will they. If you "frontload" the meet properly and make sure your kids know the possibilities they will be much more mentally prepared. I know it sounds dumb, but one negative though can derail an entire night. You are giving yourself an "out" to not perform to your abilities when this happens, and instead of taking hold of the situation you simply blame the weather (or other factors) later.
On to sectionals!
The jumpers battled through a number of different factors (heat, less "pop" on the runway, dehydration, etc.) and performed admirably once again! 4 of the 6 jumpers advanced to the state tournament! The 2 that didn't I felt bad for, but there was reason to celebrate. Antonio (a long jumper) has battled consistency at the board all year and he hit 6/6 boards at the meet and showed me just how mentally tough he really is. He's a senior this year, and I'm going to miss him in 2019, but what he did yesterday (to me) means a great deal more than simply hitting boards. It means that in life, Antonio has the know-how and skill to battle through anything. Ashley (a long jumper) is only a junior and we have another year together! She's already started reflecting on her off-season training, and I couldn't be more excited about 2019 with her!
As for the jumpers that did make it through - Tyler Precia took 2nd place with a jump of 44'1" (a new PR), Kadon won the long jump with a jump just over 22', Kasy Walker-Daniels jumped over 35' yet again and took 3rd, and Jada Schuh jumped a big-time last jump to hurdle a number of other competitors and finish 2nd.
These kids are absolute gamers, and a group I feel extremely fortunate to coach! I've never taken more than 2 jumpers to state, and taking 4 this year is absolutely surreal. They deserve all the praise for their tireless dedication and drive; BUT, we are not done yet! We are going into state with that same mental toughness and focus to do special things! We are going to leave our mark on this state!
I will most likely only do 2 more blogs about the 2018 season. One will be about the state tournament and how the athletes performed, and the other will focus on the 2018 season as a whole with various reflections. The reflections blog may be a 2-parter due to the large number of accomplishments and focuses I'd like to go over.
I highly recommend watching for the reflections piece! There's so much more I'd like to share before closing the door on the 2018 season and moving on to some summer items I've got planned for the site.