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Tidehaven's Wiley sets meet record in high jump

By BY MIKE FORMAN - MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Feb. 21, 2013 at 9:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2013 at 8:21 p.m.

Goliad junior Ashtin Zamzow, left, and Cuero senior Abby Sheppard compete in the 100-meter hurdles at Thursday's Cowboy Relays at Edna High School. Sheppard and Zamzow came in first and second place in the event respectively.

EDNA - Karissa Wiley arrived late for the high jump and was unable to get a mark.

By the time the Tidehaven senior had finished jumping, she had a mark of a different kind.

Wiley set a Cowboy Relays record by clearing 5 feet, 8 inches on a chilly Thursday night at Cowboy Memorial Stadium.

"I don't know how I did it," Wiley said. "I don't know. I was amazed and really excited. I don't know, but I hurried up and got off that mat really quick."

Wiley equaled her personal best despite using another jumper's mark as her starting point.

"They wouldn't let me get a mark, so I had to just go," she said. "I went by some girl's tennis ball and just did it. After we were done jumping, we went and got that mark."

Wiley finished second in the Class 2A high jump at last year's state meet by clearing 5-5. She went to jumping camps this summer at the University of Texas and Kansas State, where she worked with Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard.

"The way they explained to do my whole approach to high jump was totally different," she said. "I haven't really used that technique because I don't know how to use it myself. When they talked about momentum and driving my knee up, that helped."

Wiley surprised herself when she cleared 5-6 at the Carl Lewis meet in Houston last month. She has been working with her technique with Tidehaven coach Glenn Johnson.

"I'm a very analytical type coach," Johnson said. "I look for the smallest thing that could make her more biomechanically efficient and try to work with that. I'm bringing a lot of different things to her as far as getting her a rhythm built for her approach, and we're trying to work into it."

Wiley hopes to clear 5-11 before the season ends, but mostly wants to remain consistent with her jumps.

"I want to consistently clear 5-6," she said. "I want to always clear 5-6 no matter what. As long as I'm getting that in every meet, I'll be happy."

Wiley was ecstatic to clear 5-8 so early in the season. She got the record on her third and final attempt at the height.

"I had to just go out there and jump," she said. "We picked a random mark, we put it down and I went. I feel like I drove my knee up more and had a little bit more speed."

Wiley has already taken visits to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Sam Houston State, and she said she is looking forward to jumping on the collegiate level next season.

But she still hopes to accomplish more this season.

"She wants to jump against the best competition," Johnson said. "I'm one who tries to focus on the littlest thing and kind of take her mind off things. I'll tell her a little joke, and she starts laughing and giggling and that gets her in a better focus."



NOTES• Cuero's Abby Sheppard had a scare after winning the 100-meter hurdles. She fell on the track and twisted her left ankle, the same ankle she broke playing volleyball. Sheppard did not think the injury was serious but did not compete in the 300 hurdles, the event she won at last year's Class 3A state meet.

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