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Jumpers speed toward Metros
A successful high jumper must have two qualities: speed and spring.
For Bainbridge jumpers Drew Wickens and Brad Wilmot, each athlete approaches the maneuver from a different angle.
Wickens, who has competed in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash and two relays while at Bainbridge, capitalizes on his speed.
“Speed’s a necessity because of the slant of your body,” said Wickens, who is currently tied for fourth in Metro with a personal best of five feet, eight inches.
“You use that momentum and turn the speed into spring. When you slant, all the momentum goes into your jumping leg. With that, the tension between the leg will then force you to jump upward.”
For Wilmot, who has a personal best of 5-6, his strength lies in the “spring.”
“I don’t have the most speed here,” Wilmot said. “There’s a lot of fast guys, but I think I have a nice amount of pop.”
Wilmot is currently tied for seventh in the Metro in high jump and 10th in triple jump at 38-11 1/2.
“If they have some pop and decent speed, you can combine those two,” coach Andy Grimm said. “We can work on the technical aspects of the flight and the explosion off the board.”
Wickens, who also competes in three track events – the 100-meter dash and the relays – picked up high jump as a sophomore. The field event quickly became his favorite.
“High jump is very technical sport because of the slant of the body,” Wickens said. “You use that and you use that momentum. You jump up, and the momentum from your running and slant will carry you over.”
Wickens’ numbers have improved with each meet. He is shooting for 5-10.
“This time I’m hoping to just extend each time,” he said. “At least for now, a 5-10 height would be really good to me. I’d be pretty happy with that.”
Wilmot has steadily improved in his three years doing the jumps.
“You need a lot of balance for triple jump,” Wilmot said. “High jump is pulling it all together in one.”
O’Dea, which competed at Bainbridge Thursday, boasts the league’s top high jumper Chase Walker. Walker, who leads the Metro with a personal best of 6-6, is followed by Franklin’s Amari Blanton who has high jumped 6 feet.
“You just see the best of your division and you don’t even really realize it,” Wickens said.
The league’s top 16 athletes in each event will advance to Metros, and the top eight performers will advance to the district meet.
Wilmot made it through Metros last season.
“I made 5-4 then I missed 5-6, so I guess I was having a bad day,” Wilmot said. “Somehow I made it to districts because someone got knocked out. I almost made 5-8 there.”
Grimm is optimistic about the jumpers’ chances at the Metro meet. Junior Mark Smith, with a personal best of 5-6, cleared 5 feet at the beginning of the season.
“We may get as many through to league as districts,” Grimm said. “If you survive all that, and make state – especially coming out of our district – it’s a big feat.”