SACRAMENTO – Bear River’s Nicole Jackson was hoping for a bit better result. So was her friend and teammate Rachel Welz.
Still, the athletes’ maturity shined through after disappointing performances.
Jackson finished 26th in the 100-meter hurdles during Friday’s trials of the CIF 2007 State Track and Field Championships at Hughes Stadium.
Welz, meanwhile, was one high jump away from having a shot at today’s finals after struggling in the long jump trials.
Welz – one of 28 jumpers to make it to the 5-foot, 5-inch mark in the high jump – missed her first two attempts at the height. She made her third attempt and was one of 13 to earn a shot at the 5-7 mark.
As the sun went down, it became obvious that the lights at Hughes Stadium were built for football, not track. In the dark end zone area, Welz missed all three attempts at 5-7.
“Because I didn’t make it until my third attempt at 5-5, I’m not in the jump off,” Welz said.
Earlier in the day, Welz finished 19th in the long jump with a leap of 17-5, six inches off her personal best.
“Yeah, I did the long jump earlier and it was bad,” Welz said with a smirk. “Then I did the high jump and that wasn’t so good.”
Still, Welz didn’t hesitate to dwell on the positive instead of the negative.
“It was a good season,” Welz said. “I accomplished everything I’d set out to do, and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Welz said she had sat down before the season started and wrote down her goals.
“I wanted to get 46.5 in the 300 hurdles, I wanted to run 15-something in the 100 hurdles, I wanted to hit 5-8 in the high jump and I was shooting for 18 in the long jump, which I got 17-11.
“So I missed all my goals by one inch.”
Meanwhile, moments after her race Jackson, like Welz, was disappointed but kept her composure, didn’t make excuses and looked toward the future.
“One of the hurdles – I’m not sure which one but I think it was the second – I nailed it,” Jackson said. “That really threw me off. I tried to finish as best I could, but that was disappointing.
“I came here hoping to PR, especially with this competition.”
A personal record for Jackson would have involved beating her school record of 15.18 seconds. She finished Friday’s race in 15.77.
Even with the disappointment of her performance and the fact she didn’t make it into today’s finals, Jackson was able to hold her head up high while talking about her track career at Bear River.
“It’s been nice,” Jackson said. “I’ve been wanting to get to this point for a long time, so I can’t come out of this too depressed. Not everybody has a chance to do this, so it was a good opportunity.
“I’m a little sad I didn’t do better, but it was good to be here.”
Jackson’s high school career may have wrapped up, but she’s undecided about the future. One thing’s for certain, Jackson would like to run track wherever she ends up.
“I don’t know where I’m going yet,” Jackson said. “It’s a big decision. But I definitely want to do sports.”
To contact Sports Writer Ross Maak, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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