Smith shoots for a state title
Jimmy Smith has two main goals he wants to accomplish before his prep career as a high jumper is over. "Win a state championship and break the school record," Smith said. The Heart River junior currently has the state's highest mark at 6 feet, 4 ...
Jimmy Smith has two main goals he wants to accomplish before his prep career as a high jumper is over.
"Win a state championship and break the school record," Smith said.
The Heart River junior currently has the state's highest mark at 6 feet, 4 inches and was in action at the Richardton-Taylor meet Tuesday at Whitney Stadium.
Smith conquered his competitors, but didn't quite meet his standards, failing to make 6-2, the state-qualifying mark.
"I like to qualify at every meet," Smith said. "I didn't jump to my potential."
Nonetheless, Smith knows what he's capable of.
After all, it was less than two weeks ago when he leapt 6-4 at the Badlands Conference meet, also at Whitney Stadium.
He's the only high school jumper in the state of North Dakota to make 6-4 and he's still not satisfied.
The first of his goals is that elusive state title that evaded him a year ago when he finished runner-up to Hazen's Brandon Benz. Though they both jumped 6-2, Benz did it on the first try, crowning him state champion and leaving Smith with another year to dream.
"I want to get back and redeem myself," Smith said.
Smith said placing fifth in the high jump as a freshman helped him gain confidence.
"It was an eye opener," Smith said. "Ever since I got that feeling at state, I've wanted to go back and get it again."
According to Smith, he felt he was in state-title contention entering the state meet.
"I thought I had a shot," Smith said. "I knew it would come down to consistency."
Heart River coach Dan Pender said a number of attributes have helped Smith along the way.
"He's got a great work ethic," Pender said. "He goes above and beyond. ... Everything he does is competitive. He's got a great attitude."
Benz has since graduated and Smith has again set his sights and put the state title in his crosshairs.
But while he waits for that golden opportunity to present itself, he strives to accomplish one feat that can be done during the regular season - breaking the school record of 6-6 set by Travis Huschka in the 1980s.
"This year, it's a possibility," Smith said. "Next year, it's a definite expectation."