Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ambridge Jumper out to Retain Title Track and Field

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ambridge Jumper out to Retain Title Track and Field

Article excerpt

India McCoy was at the high jump area at the Warrior Classic on Saturday, trying to improve on her height in that event.

She had already won the gold medal by clearing 5 feet, but she had entered the track and field invitational at wet and windy Central Valley High School's Sarge Albert Stadium with higher expectations. That's the way it is when an athlete is a defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA champion.

Unfortunately for McCoy, who is a junior at Ambridge Area High School, she didn't get a chance to continue to work on her event. A teammate ran toward the high jump pit yelling, "We have to check in for the relay. Come on."

Most high school jumpers are just that ... jumpers. They compete in the high jump and either the long jump or the triple jump or both. McCoy is a little out of the ordinary.

At the Warrior Classic she ran in the 400-meter dash, placing fifth with a time of 1 minute, 2.75 seconds. She also ran a leg on the Bridgers 400-meter relay team that placed fifth and a leg on the 1,600-meter relay that was third.

She runs the 400 because she is the fastest person in that event on the team. McCoy doesn't mind running the 400 just as long as she does it after the high jump is completed.

"I had high hopes for today but I still did good. I can't complain," she said after receiving her medal in the 400. "I only went 5 feet [in the high jump]. I mean, I won the event but I wanted to do better than that.

"I don't know. My legs were just burning after I ran the 400. I usually run [the 400] after I'm done [high jumping]. My coach said to stop jumping after 5 feet because I had won. I should have done better."

McCoy has won the WPIAL Class AAA high jump title the past two years. She cleared 5-6 as a freshman and then went 5-9 last year. She placed second at the PIAA meet in 2011 even though she went 5- 7, the same as Anne Holland of Pennridge. McCoy finished second because of more misses at that height than Holland.

McCoy's goal this spring is to clear 5-10 or higher. She hasn't come close yet but knows she is capable.

"I know I can do it. I just need to push myself more," she said.

"I've never tried to go that high in practice because I'm usually trying lower heights and working on my form. …

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