North Cedar high jumper Darby Hawtrey looking for redemption

HS journalism: Knights junior set school record this spring

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CLARENCE — At track and field meets, I compete in both.

High jump has become a big part of my track and field career.

My freshman year, I could barely clear 4-feet, 10-inchs and my sophomore year I made 5-feet. So my expectation for junior year was to improve another two inches.

At our first meet, the Dickinson Relays indoor competition at the UNI-Dome. I hadn’t even practiced high jump yet, but Coach Kirk Ketelsen wanted Lexi Crist and I to jump. I ended up jumping 5-2, a personal record. I also tied for third place and got to stand on the podium to receive a medal.

That was just the start of the season.

In between the UNI-Dome and Iowa State indoor meets, I maybe practiced once, where we worked on our steps and getting our hips up and over the bar. At the ISU meet, I jumped 5-2 again but only placed sixth. The next meet was our conference indoor and I cleared 5-0 and tried to jump at 5-3. I didn’t clear it and ended up in third place.

For a while, I was stuck with only jumping 5-0, which meant I was consistent but it wasn’t going to be enough to get into the Drake Relays. I kept trying to get 5-3, and even though I was the final one left every meet, I never got it.

Then the Solon meet rolled around and it was a beautiful day. I was jumping really well and was excited Lexi Crist and I jumped at 5-2 and made it. Then we went to 5-4 and I luckily made it. I was super excited and started thinking I would jump at 5-5 and make it. I missed on my first two jumps, but on the third I cleared 5-5. I was so happy I set a school record and my own personal record — again.

Since I made 5-5, it meant I qualified for Drake Relays, which was something I didn’t think I could accomplish at the beginning of the season. I jumped 5-0 on the first try at Drake and then, when the bar went up to 5-2, I lost control and did not jump well. I ended up 16th out of 24 girls.

We had a few meets after Drake, including our River Valle Conference meet where I jumped 5-0, 5-1, 5-2 and 5-3 easily on the first try each time. Then I tried at 5-4 and didn’t get it.

Going into the regional meet, I was fairly confident. But when it came time to jump, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped. At 4-10 I missed the first attempt and then at 5-0 it took me all three tries to finally get it. I still won, which meant that I get to go to state.

Hopefully I can redeem myself there and jump a new personal and school record.

(The Class 2A state high jump is at 4:30 p.m. Friday)

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