Who to Watch in Class 2A Girls: Jumps

    With the State Meet just 1 week away, it is time to highlight some of the athletes who can challenge for the KHSAA Class 2A Track and Field State Championship. In this week's edition, we will focus on the Class 1A jumpers. Regardless of the current season best, this article highlights returners who will challenge for it all.

High Jump

    The first athlete on this list is the defending High Jump Champion from last season's KHSAA Class 2A Track and Field State Championship, Caroline Murphy. The Senior from Glasgow won this event last season with a jump of 5 feet 6 inches. Murphy has carried this form into the 2023 campaign where she has cleared 5 feet 6 inches again this season. That is the second highest jump in Class 2A this season. However, her consistency is where she shines. Murphy has jumped between 5 foot 2 inches and 5 foot 6 inches all season. This consistency, coupled with her Championship pedigree, makes her one of the favorites to defend her Championship and bring home her second State Championship.

    The next athlete on this list finished runner-up to Murphy last season, Lexi Young. Young, a Freshman from Mason County, has been unbelievable since she was an 8th grader last season. This year, Young won the KTCCCA Class AA Indoor State Championship in the High Jump clearing an easy 5 feet. The interesting thing to consider about Young is that she is inconsistent. While she currently has the highest jump in Class AA, she has ranged from 4 feet 8 inches to that state leading 5 feet 7 inch mark. It will come down to which Young shows up. If the State leading jumper shows up, we should be in for a treat between Murphy and Young like last season. However, if Young were to jump to one of her lower efforts, a whole slew of athletes will be waiting to capitalize on the mistake. 

    One of these athletes is Brelynn Wardlow from Warren East. The 8th Grader is currently tied with Murphy for the second highest jump in Class 2A this season. The similarities between her and Murphy do not stop there as Wardlow is also very consistent jumping between 5 feet and 5 feet 6 inches this season. Wardlow does not have any prior State experience given her age, however, she is a middle schooler with no expectations and nothing to lose making her very dangerous and a major threat to claim her first State Championship. 

Long Jump

    In a shocking turn of events, Jai Maria Piazza of Mercer County did not contest the jumping at her Region Championships leaving the door open for two athletes to claim her throne from this past Indoor Season. 

    The first of these is the aforementioned Lexi Young of Mason County. Young comes into the State Championships with the farthest jump in Class 2A this season at 18 feet 2 inches. Not only does she have that farthest throw, but Young is also the number one returner from last season where she finished runner-up in this event. Young also finished runner-up to Piazza at the Indoor State Championship this season, however, with her absence, expect Young to contend for this Championship as well as the High Jump State Championship.

    The second athlete who will compete for the Long Jump State Championship is Kalynn Pease from Fleming County. The Sophomore has the second farthest throw in Class 2A this season and has looked very good. Pease is building off her dominant season last year where she finished Young in this event. Pease also took 4th in this event Indoors. Look for Pease to show strong opposition to Young at the State Championships as she looks to claim her first State Championship.

Honorable Mentions

Jaci Woods, Senior, Shelby County

Elle Turner, Senior, North Oldham

Triple Jump

    In my mind, there is one athlete in the Triple Jump who stands out from the rest, and that athlete is Teigh Yeast, a Freshman from Mercer County. Yeast has competed in 11 meets this season and has cleared the second farthest jump in 8 of them. For perspective, the second farthest jump on the State seed list in Class 2A this season belongs to Jaci Woods and Ralasia Piazza at 35 feet 4.5 inches and Yeast has cleared that mark 8 times this year. Yeast currently has the State leading mark of 39 feet 5.25 inches and has looked borderline unbeatable this season. Assuming something does not go catastrophically wrong, Yeast should be considered the favorite to win this event at the State Championships this season. 

Honorable Mentions

Jaci Woods, Senior, Shelby County

Ralasia PiazzaFreshman, Mercer County