Trevor Jain returns to state track meet
A year after making his first competitive jumps and finishing fifth in the state, Trevor Jain has a high jump championship in his sights.
“Oh yeah, I believe I can (win state),” Jain said. “I’m going to keep working hard next week. I’m going to try to hit about 6-4, 6-6 when I get down there.”
Jain cleared six feet on Thursday at Christian Academy of Knoxville to finish second to Red Bank's Torran Davis in the A/AA East sectional championships. That earns him an automatic berth in next week’s Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association track and field championships in Murfreesboro.
“It means a lot,” Jain said. “It’s something I’ve been working to progress to get towards. At the beginning of the season I felt like I was a little rusty and trying to get back into it. I feel like I’m where I need to be again. I’m ready to go down there and win.”
The top two competitors in each event Thursday earned berths in next week’s championships. The field will be filled out by two at-large berths awarded to the remaining best performances from qualifying meets across the state.
Jain was the only local athlete to advance but teammate Megan Rayfield finished in the top five in girls discus, throwing 90-0 to finish fifth. Rabecca Lenhart was seventh with a toss of 89-01 while Tessa Grinsted was behind her in eighth (88-6). The Tigers’ Christian Sisto was fifth in the boys discus with a throw of 127-10. Colton Bryan was ninth (114-9) while Noah Whaley was 13th (103-2).
Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Jeremy Odom was the busiest local on Thursday, competing in four events. He started with the boys long jump in the morning before running the 100-meter dash and 400 and 800-meter relays. Odom was 12th in the long jump (17-6 1/2) and helped the Highlanders to 11th in the 400-meter relay (47.4 seconds). Odom and G-P were sixth in the 800-meter relay, finishing in 1:35.6. He was seventh in the 100 (11.2 seconds).
“I guess I’d say we’re pretty lucky because there’s not a lot of kids that qualify for four events,” Odom said. “… It’s a privilege to get to run against (the competition here). It’s not every day you get to run against the fastest kid in the state. It shows you where you’re at and kind of puts you in your place. I kind of like that.”
Pigeon Forge’ Sara Caldwell faced the same kind of tough competition in the girls 1,600 and 3,200. She was eighth in the 1,600 (5:54.4), just ahead of G-P’s Lindsey Myers in ninth (5:58.7). Caldwell was also eighth in the 3,200 (12:51.9) while Myers was 10th (13:09.2). CAK’s Rebecca Story won both races.
“They were tough competition,” Caldwell said. “They were a lot faster than I was. But I ran hard. CAK has always been tough to run against.”
Pigeon Forge also got a pair of eighth-place finishes from Sarah Hill in the girls 100 (13.2) and 200 (27.3). Jerrod Jinnette was 11th in the boys 100 (23.4) while G-P’s Summer Wegworth was 12th (19.1) in the girls 100 hurdles.
Jain, the All-County player of the year in basketball, has picked up jumping pretty easily. His junior year was his first season in the sport and he made it all the way to Murfreesboro. This year he’s already cleared a personal-best 6-foot-4 to finish second at the Tennesssee Relays.
That kind of performance in Murfreesboro could lift the senior to the top of the podium.
“I think he definitely could win state,” said Tigers coach Carrie Bailey. “His highest jump ever beat last year’s state-winning jump. If he has good jumps I think he definitely could finish first.”