WICHITA — Larned High School’s Carrie Kellie picked the perfect time to unleash a personal-best jump of 36 feet, nine inches in the triple jump.
The leap led Kellie, a senior, to a Class 4A state title on Friday at the 6-1A state track and field championship at Wichita State’s Cessna Stadium.
“It feels awesome,” Kellie said. “I have been working really hard for this.”
Before the state meet, Kellie decided to dedicate her jumps to Trevor Greathouse, 18, a friend and classmate who died earlier in the week.
She did not know that she would soar to a state championship.
“Well, I definitely dedicated my jumps to my friend who just passed away,” Kellie said through tears. “His funeral’s today. I always pray before I jump, but I dedicated my jumps to God, my coach and my friend who died, Trevor.”
Larned head coach Al Troyer said that she was struggling to get her timing right in the triple jump.
“She was jumping great,” Troyer said. “She just couldn’t find the board. She was jumping 37 or 38 feet, but she was well behind the board.”
Kellie, who plans to compete on the track and field team at Emporia State, also finished third in the long jump, soaring to a 17-3 1/4, her final attempt.
“She did a good job competing,” Troyer said. “She was in fifth heading into the final jump and she was able to get all the way up to third.”
That is just the type of competitor that Kellie is, according to Troyer.
“Oh, she’ll always come back,” Troyer said. “If the last jump is coming, you know it will be a big one.”