Friday State Track Roundup: Liberty High Long Jumpers Thigpen, Barney Help Each Other to Top Four Finishes
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DES MOINES – It was a well-timed piece of technical advice from her coach that helped Liberty High freshman Alexi Thigpen secure a medal in her state meet debut.
It was the coaching and mentoring from senior teammate Jasmine Barney that helped Thigpen reach the state meet.
Thigpen and Barney finished third and fourth in the long jump at the Class 4A state meet on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines.
“She has a really good work ethic and I learned a lot from her,” Thigpen said of Barney. “She brought me up. This is my first year long jumping so she pretty much taught me a lot of what to do and how to do it. I just really appreciate her being there.”
After getting a piece of advice from her coach Thigpen posted her best jump in her fifth attempt, soaring 17-5 ¾.
That mark was good for third place behind champion Jaeden Pratt of Ankeny Centennial (18-1) and Ruby Leman of West Des Moines Dowling (17-11 ¾).
“I moved back so that I could speed up more to have more lift,” Thigpen said. “That’s what my coach told me to do so that’s what I did and here we are.”
It was the coaching from Barney that helped Thigpen get to this point in her first ever attempt at long jump.
“I just threw myself in it kind of,” Thigpen said. “I wanted to try it and I practiced and Jasmine taught me a lot of things and it worked out.”
It was an impressive ending to a strong season for Thigpen who also ran on the Liberty High 4×100 and 4×200 relays on Friday.
“She asked a lot of questions at the beginning but I think she started to figure it out on her own,” Barney said of Thigpen. “She really improved. A freshman getting third place at the state meet, my goodness that’s really good.”
An all-state point guard and Minnesota State basketball recruit, Barney finished fourth on Friday with a jump of 17-4 ½.
“I feel like I could have done better but it is what it is,” Barney said. “I had a great time.”
*** Friday was another strong day for the City High boys which enter the final day of the state meet third in the 4A team standings with 41 points.
City High posted three more top-eight efforts on Friday from its distance medley relay team, Ronnie Major in the long jump and Matt Schaeckenbach in the 400 hurdles.
Major finished fourth in the long jump with a leap of 21-0 ¾ while Schaeckenbach was seventh in the 400 hurdles in a time of 54.79.
The City High distance medley team of Sam Rew, Ronnie Major, Jeremiah Madlock and Ayman Noreldaim finished fourth in 3:30.34.
***Liberty High earned its first medal of the meet with an eighth place finish in the distance medley relay.
Jalen Wieck, Da’Shon Fisher, Carter Meyers and Aidan Decker finished in 3:34.11.
***Solon senior thrower Adam Smith capped a strong state meet with a second consecutive fourth-place finish.
After finishing fourth in the discus on Thursday Smith added a fourth place finish in the 3A shot put on Friday with a mark of 54-10 ¼.
Dubuque Wahlert senior Duke Faley completed a sweep of the 3A throwing events winning the shot put with a mark of 58-2 ¾.
*** Clear Creek Amana freshman Jayling Herring secured the first state meet medal of her career on Friday finishing sixth in the 3A 400 hurdles.
Herring clocked a time of 1:08.57 to finish sixth.