Taylor hits seven feet, ties record

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Taylor hits seven feet, ties record

Alex Rieger assistant sports editor

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Junior high jumper Jamario Taylor tied the school record on Saturday, at the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Gateway Classic in Edwardsville, Ill.

His jump height of seven feet and one-half inches is good for first in the Summit League and 26th in the nation. It also shares first place with Western Illinois University alumni Dave Stoermer set in 1977.  

“I knew I had to show up and go big,” Taylor said. “I have been shooting for that height and beyond it for about two seasons now. It’s a slight relief that that (the school record) is partially mine. Now I have to accomplish it completely by breaking it.”

Taylor’s first attempt was resulted in a jump of 6-8 feet, which he cleared, then 6-10. At 7-.5, Taylor was able to clear the bar in his second try.  

“I just smiled and jogged back to my mark saying to myself ‘come on six (his nickname), you got it, you got it,” Taylor said, referring to his first missed jump. “Fly time baby, fly time.’”

This record marks the latest in Taylor’s steady progression. However, according to track and field coach David Beauchem, he still has some work to do.  

“Jamario has the ability to be great,” Beauchem said. “He has to become more consistent in his approach in order to jump higher. His turn has a tendency to break down and become a power jump. But it has to be a combination of both speed and power.”

The winner of the men’s high jump was Zach Riley (7-1) who’s personal best in outdoor competition is 7-5.  Riley competed unattached.

“I kind of felt that I was going to set a personal best because of the high level of competition in the high jump,” Taylor said.  

Taylor said his fractured right hand is starting to feel better. He suffered the injury playing a pick-up basketball game at the Donald Spencer Student Recreation Center about one month ago.     

“My hand feels good. I’m already out of my cast. It doesn’t seem like it was shattered a month ago,” Taylor said.

The Leathernecks won seven events over the weekend with the men (193) and women (173) both placing second out of five teams.

“The team had  one of our best meets in a very long time,” Beauchem said.    “We still have things to work out. But we definitely made progress this week.”

Beauchem also touched on how important records are to the Leathernecks.

“Breaking school records is important to showing the progression of the program,” Beauchem said.   

OTHER NOTES:

• Junior Talisa Watson received first place honors for the women’s high jump, clearing a height of 5-04.75, which ranks tenth in program history.

• Junior Danielle Gunn rewrote personal bests in three events: 100-meter dash (12.34), 200-meter dash (25.93) and long jump (17-02.29).

•Sophomore Michael Castel finished second in the men’s 1,500-meter run (3:57.72).

• Senior Jordan Liles placed first in the men’s javelin throw competition earning a distance of 192-03, his personal best. Liles ranks sixth in program history and second in the Summit League.

The Leathernecks will host the Twilight Open Saturday at Hanson Field.  

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