Summit track shows off for home meet
FARMER’S KORNER – What they do in the air is up to them, but jumpers on the Summit High School track and field team say technique is the secret to deep tracks in the sand.
“Technique is everything in jumping,” said Ray Zakahi, a junior at SHS. “Once you get it, you just keep getting better at it. It is like you’re flying. It’s a really awesome experience.”
Summit hosted a meet Monday. It was meant to be a quad pitting Summit, Skyview, Holy Family and Faith Christian, but Faith Christian didn’t show up. Nonetheless, the Tigers were inspired by the sun and the home cheering sections, especially the boys, who won the meet and swept the jumping events.
Zakahi has consistently been winning the long jump events throughout the season, and Monday was no exception.
With his trademark back and forth rocking routine before running down the line on take-off, airborne cycling and no fear of getting sand in his face, Zakahi doesn’t take a jump these days that measures much under 19 feet.
“When you’re jumping, nothing else in the world matters to you,” he said. “I mean, for the quick 10 seconds that you’re jumping, you’re free and nothing bothers you. You’re just getting air, showing off pretty much.”
Zakahi didn’t quite have the flight technique down when he began jumping for the Summit team, but he has it now.
“I try to pedal, or cycle now,” he said. “When I started doing that last year, I added about two-and-a-half feet onto my jumps. Then, falling forward this year added about a foot and a half. I used to fall on my butt all the time. I still have a ways to go. I have to jump 20 and a half, 21 feet to qualify for state.”
Summit’s Preston Johnson also found new ways to launch at Monday’s track meet. Not only did he break a personal record by winning the triple jump with a distance of 39 feet, 8 inches, but he also won the 300-yard hurdle race.
“His mind’s in the right place,” said SHS track coach George Keyes. “He’s out there believing he can and he does.”
Keyes said the home meet was another telltale exhibition of mind over matter for the Summit team. For athletes like Jessie Glynn, who took third in the long jump and the 300 hurdles, this phenomenon works differently than with other athletes.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the 300 hurdles,” she said. “I hate to run them, because they’re so hard, but I love it because you get good at it and you sort of get a schedule down. Everything flows together when you get it all down.”
Everything was flowing for the Summit boys 400 relay team, which won the event. Mike Allard was one of the contributing runners, and he also won the shot put with a throw of 38 feet, 11 inches. Mike Holloway also fared well with a winning personal best in the discus after flinging it 120 feet, 7 inches. Jeff Lunceford took second in the shot put and Jack St. John too fourth in the discus. Keyes attributes the throwing athletes’ success to consistent coaching and also to the quality of the throwing ring at SHS, which was completed just before the meet began Monday.
Ben Child took second in the mile race, Sam McCleneghan took second in the long jump and Jordan Ediger took second in the two-mile. The performance by the Summit boys earned them 67 points to win the meet – the first win for the Summit team in years – and by a landslide – 25 points ahead of second-place Skyview, which beat Summit last week.
“Not only did they come out and win it, they came out hard,” Keyes said. “The other teams might say we have altitude advantage or whatever, but the thing is, we went out with the right attitude and won.”
The Summit girls would have also won had they put competitors in the last two events. As it was, there were top individual performances. Tara Carosa took first in the mile, crossing the finish line about 150 yards ahead of the next competitor with a time of 6 minutes, 40 seconds. The 800 and 400 medley teams took second place and Kari Greenly took second in the shot put.
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