Kaiden Sawyer-Bailey, Preztynn Connally and McKayla Ramsey passed out the word that Mineral Wells is a high-jump leader at the TAAF 2019 Summer Games of Texas in College Station over the weekend.
Sawyer-Bailey (14 & U) and Connally (12 & U) claimed gold medals with Sawyer-Bailey jumping 5-8 and Connally clearing 5-2. Ramsey was a fourth-place finisher with a leap of 4-8 in the 14 & U girls.
“I’m very proud of how all of our athletes competed,” coach Jackie Harvey said. “They all went down there, and they gave it their best.”
Sawyer-Bailey’s victory was especially sweet given the fact the jumper had only been “flopping” over the bar with three days practice. Before the state meet, Sawyer-Bailey had been using the old-style scissor jump which is hurdling the high bar rather than running up and using the modern-day “back-first technique” developed by Dick Fosbury when he won the 1968 Olympics.
“Fosbury’s Flop” as it is now known changed the sport of high jumping and Sawyer-Bailey’s conversion led to six more inches in height as he went from jumping 5-2 to the 5-8 mark that won him the gold medal in College Station.
“Kaiden did a great job,” Harvey said. “He went out an handled the pressure of jumping in a big meet very well.”
Connally is another jumper who handles pressure very well, and he has been to the state before – this year it was a double-qualifier as he won gold in the high jump and brought home a silver medal in the long jump with a mark of 17-2.
Ramsey’s fourth-place finish in the high jump was the lone girl’s medal for Mineral Wells as she uncorked a leap of 4-8.
Other state qualifiers taking part this weekend included Rylan Tarver, Ayana Harrison, Jose Garcia, Jagan Ramirez, Rush Ramirez, Josiah Harrison, Aleck Gonzales, Iana Echanique, Kennah Dowling, Kora Pennartz, Jaidun Fisher and Legend Johnson.