COLUMBUS — Hailey Thies, a freshman for Tri-County North, competed against other Division III high jumpers at the state meet in Columbus on Friday, June 5.
Thies also excelled in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles this season and was surprised that the high jump was what got her to state, she said.
“This was probably the (event) I was least thinking in my mind that I was — I have competition — so I have to work really hard to get to state in high jump,” said Thies. “It was the most surprising to make it in this. It was a proud moment to make it here honestly.”
At the regional meet, she tied her personal best with a jump of five feet, four inches but was unable to hit that mark on Friday. Coming into the meet, she had her sights set on five feet, six inches, which is the school record.
She cleared the heights of four feet, 10 inches and five feet before bowing out at the five feet, two inches marker.
“High jump seems like it’s a fickle animal. Some days you’ll be spot on, hitting (five feet, four inches). Sometimes you just have a day that it’s just not there,” said North’s head coach Jim Conway. “Today it wasn’t there. Tomorrow could have as well been there.”
Thies tied for 14th on the day and was only one of two freshmen jumping. A sophomore from Ottoville won the event with a jump of five feet, eight inches.
But being in Columbus with big crowds and mainly upperclassmen didn’t intimidate the young up-and-comer either.
“I try to think in my mind that we are all here for the same reason. We are all here to jump. Some have more experience than I do. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I’d be. I came in here with high hopes. It’s a little disappointing but in the same aspect, I’m only a freshman. I have three more years,” said Thies. “I’m really happy I could get here anyway and drag on my track season for another week. It’s really awesome.”
While bowing out when she did is not what any competitor hopes for, one thing is still true – the future is bright for Thies. Her head coach is certain of that much.
“She has a few years to work on it. As she grows, I can definitely see her succeeding,” said Conway.