Varsity Kansas

Track notes: Area high jumpers going up

DeJanae Arnold said she was having a bad day when she headed to the Goddard Invitational last Friday.

Nothing was going according to plan for the Northwest sophomore and the meet continued that theme, only this time in a good way.

Never before had Arnold cleared the bar over 5 feet in the high jump. After nearly 20 jumps and two hours Friday, Arnold would bow out after clearing 5-foot-6. She broke the Northwest school record and is tied for the best jump in Kansas this season.

“I don’t really know what happened,” Arnold said. “I just kept going and going and going.”

The more thorough explanation: Arnold was generating the speed she needed and her curve was the best it’s been since Northwest coach Tom Allen has been working with her. She has the athleticism (and nearly 30-inch vertical) to excel in the event, so it’s the little things before the jump that had been holding back the sophomore.

“I knew a big one was coming when I was watching her warm up and she was just bounding in the air,” Allen said. “It was like, ‘Wow, she’s getting up there.’ I knew something was coming.”

It was enough to turn a bad day into a good one.

“That made it pretty awesome,” Arnold said. “I was having a bad day and then I rocked it, so I was pretty stoked. I had a lot of coaches proud of me, so that made it a lot better.”

Dreiling already going high – The bloodlines of Dylan Dreiling are filled with athletic excellence: his father was a standout basketball player and his mother excelled in track.

Now a freshman at Garden Plain, Dreiling is forging his own reputation in the high jump. He turned heads in the first track meet of his high school career when he cleared 6-4 in Andale on April 1 and he has since improved his best mark to 6-6, second-best in Class 3A.

“And I think he’s got a lot of growth left in him,” Garden Plain coach William Bergkamp said. “We knew right away he was going to be pretty special. He’s just a real long-limbed kid and the way he floats over that bar is pretty amazing.”

But what has made an impression with Bergkamp is the temperamentEven when Dreiling cleared 6-6, there wasn’t much of a celebration.

“I think there was a tiny little smirk there,” Bergkamp said. “That’s about all you’re going to get. He doesn’t really get too high or too low. Nothing really fazes Dylan and I think that’s pretty impressive for a freshman.”

Dreiling will be head-to-head against Conway Springs’ Lucas Schaffer, who owns the No. 1 mark in 3A at 6-7, on Thursday at the Central Plains League meet at Cheney.

Joseph puts imagination to work – When Patricia Joseph was a freshman at Southeast, she was clearing 5-2 in the high jump. For the last three years, she’s been stuck on that same height.

So she had a talk with Southeast coach Mark Lamb and asked what she needed to change because her routine wasn’t working anymore. Lamb told her a story about a former jumper of his who used to imagine their jumps the night before, the day of, and during the meet.

Picturing success has translated to actual success: Joseph cleared 5-5 in Hutchinson early last week, then 5-6 last Friday in Salina.

Joseph will jump Friday at the City League meet.

“Now before I jump, I close my eyes and picture myself going over the bar every time,” Joseph said. “I think visualizing it has really helped me because I thought I was kind of stuck on 5-2 and now I feel like I’m jumping better than I ever have.”