CHARLESTON--It didn’t take long for Charleston’s Sarah Flight to accomplish one of her goals this season.
Back in January, Flight competed at the Dorothy Dawson Invite, an indoor track and field meet at the University of Illinois Armory. It was there that Flight had the best high jump of her career.
Flight’s previous career-high jump was 5 feet, 6.25 inches, which she set last season. A couple of weeks ago, Flight broke her own school record with a jump of 5-6.5.
At the Dorothy Dawson, Flight went much higher than that, but because she was running unattached, it didn’t qualify as a school record. Flight, a junior, cleared 5-7.25 at the Dorothy Dawson, which is the top height of her career.
Not only was it a PR, but it also qualified Flight for the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City, an event she’s been trying to qualify to compete in for the past two years.
The qualifying standard this year for the high jump for the event was set at 5-6.
“It’s a pretty big accomplishment for Sarah,” Charleston coach Justin Tomaska said. “It was her goal right away this year. Last year she wanted to get into it and just missed it. One meet into the season and she made it. She was beyond ecstatic about it.”
Flight will compete in the high jump tonight (Friday night) and there’s a live webcast of the New Balance Indoor Nationals at www.nbnationalsin.com.
The opening height in the high jump will be set at 5-3 and then 5-5, 5-7 and 5-8.75 and so on.
Flight’s goal at the event is simple - she just wants to PR.
“She’s nervous about the starting height, but she will be fine. She’s been hitting 5-3 consistently, she hasn’t missed that height all year,” Tomaska said. “She just wants to PR. I think hitting 5-7 would be huge for her and that’s the height she lost to at state last year. If she just hits that, that would be outstanding and will give her some confidence, more than she already has.”
Flight finished in second place at the Class 2A state track and field meet last season with a jump of 5-5. Urbana’s Diamonasia Taylor, who is now a sophomore, won the event after clearing 5-8.
Clearing 5-8 would put Flight at the same level as Taylor and the two will see each other a couple of times this season. Charleston has a triangular at Urbana on April 2 and the Lady Trojans will also compete at the Urbana Invitational on April 27.
“When we meet Urbana for the first time, she wants to go against Diamonasia and she wants to beat her to let herself know that she can beat her,” Tomaska said.
The girls’ high jump is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today (Friday) at the New Balance Indoor Meet.