By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Sheirdan’s Ronni VanZant changed up her footing in her long-jump approach just a few days prior to the Meet of Champions. Three days to be exact.
The senior, who’s been slowly increasing her Long Jump leaps are quite literally becoming leaps and bounds longer with each passing meet.
Entering Saturday’s Meet of Champions at Willamette University, the Spartan jumper’s (and sprinter) longest jump was 16-feet-five-inches this season, but her last preliminary jump was easily better than that by one-inch while her second prelim jump was three-to-four-inches further than that, putting her in the finals.
“It’s extremely exciting because jumping a 16’6 on Thursday, I was worried that I was going to be a little bit fatigued today, but I came out here and did a lot more than I was expecting my legs to give me, I’m very excited,” said VanZant on her performance.
VanZant, who was at the Meet of Champions last season in the 100 and 200 meters, described the adrenaline was going being at a college campus and the competition around her as she continued to dominate in the pit as she finished the Long Jump in second-place thanks to a 17-foot-one-inch jump.
“I just moved back to a eight-step just three days ago, so I think the more and more practice doing the eight-step the better I’ll get,” said VanZant.
On the sprinting side of things, the Sheridan sprinter in VanZant thought she could have done better in the 100 meter dash even though she finished second with a dash of 13.25 in her heat.
“Not a PR. I was slow, I felt slow,” said VanZant. “I felt like (the starter) held us really long, I think I lost my concentration. Usually at our track meets, a lot of them don’t exactly know how to do it so it’s different everytime. Sometimes we’re barely in, he barely holds us. But I’ve been kind of expecting that, I’ve practice it but you live and you learn.”
In the 200 meter dash, VanZant finished second with a time of 26.99. David Olvera placed sixth in the Shot Put with a 43-feet-11-inch toss while Kaden Eggen finished ninth in the Triple Jump (39-feet-four-inches), a PR for the sophomore.