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Triple jumper hopes to step into gold medal

MIKE FORMAN

By MIKE FORMAN
May 13, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.

Karnes City junior Brittany Kinney goes after her third medal in the Class 2A triple jump at the state meet. Kinney won a gold medal as a freshman and a bronze medal as a sophomore.

Karnes City coach Donnie Dziuk appreciates Brittany Kinney's talent.

Dziuk is amazed by her willingness to do whatever it takes to get better.

"She's a hard worker," Dziuk said. "She can't wait to go to practice. I'll see her during fourth period and she'll ask me what we are doing."

Kinney is such a versatile athlete that her workouts vary, but they are geared toward the triple jump and 200-meter dash.

She has excelled in the events and will make her third consecutive appearance in the Class 2A triple jump and second in the 200 at the UIL Track and Field State Championship on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

"I'm excited but not as much as my freshman year," said Kinney, a junior. "I'm a lot more consistent than when I started."

Kinney won the triple jump as a freshman before finishing third in the event last year.

"The pressure was there last year since she won as a freshman," Dziuk said. "She told me after she won the triple jump at the regional meet, 'I want my gold back.'"

Kinney comes into the triple jump seeded first after jumping 38 feet, 6.25 inches at the Region IV-2A meet in Converse.

Kinney's best triple jump of the season is 38-8.5 and Dziuk is convinced she can go farther.

"You have three phases of the triple jump and two of hers are better than the third," Dziuk said. "We're working on her getting into the sand. It's her left leg going in. We're working on that one.

"It's just the mechanics," he added. "All it does is turn into a long jump in that last phase. It's just getting that technique. She's gone over 39 in practice. She knows what to do. It will all come together sooner or later. She's got a 40-footer in her if she can nail that approach."

Kinney gravitated toward the triple jump because it fit her physical makeup and challenged her mentally.

"I like that the triple jump is an individual event," Kinney said. "It's not as simple as the long jump. You can reach out and do more things. I also have long legs so I'm suited for the event."

Kinney triple jumps in the morning and will have about five hours to get ready for the 200. She placed seventh in the event last year.

"It's my favorite running event," Kinney said. "I like the 100 but my body is stronger and it gives me a better chance in a longer race. If I could lower my time, it would be a good thing. I'm waiting and prepared."

Kinney will be happy just to get on the medal stand in the 200. She's determined to be standing on the top of the podium in the triple jump.

"All it takes is to be able to jump off of my left leg and be more consistent," Kinney said. "Since right before the district meet I've been hitting it."

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