By Jeremy McDonald
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.– It’s been since August 27 since Cascade’s Emma Gates last competed in any kind of event. Running or Jumping. That was when she PR’d in the 100 and 200-meter dashes in Springfield in the All-Comers Meets.
As for jumping, it’s been since her freshman year when she won the 4A State Title when she last competed in the High Jump. That year, winning the title at a then height of five-foot-five-inches as a ninth-grader.
She’s been working on jumping in a limited capacity, jumping once a week she points out. Whenever she gets an opportunity to do so. So it was pretty nice to get back at it at the Brimingham Crossplex this past weekend said the now-Cougar Junior.
“It was great getting back into high jump,” Gates said. “It’s been so long since I’ve done any meets with jumping and I’m really excited that I can get marks from this because none of us really know how much of a season we’ll even have.”
The OSAA has moved things around the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic, putting the Spring Sports Season during ‘Season 3’ during April and May at the moment with no guarantees’ as we inch closer to the three six-week seasons starting in February.
Gates is familiar with the Indoor Track world. Having competed in a few indoor events here and there.
In Alabama, they took a unique approach to keeping the numbers low in the area. Rolling everything out in ‘phases’ of roughly 100-, 200-athletes throughout the State and mask were required when they weren’t competing. But with everything 2020 has brought, Gates PR’d in the high jump, at five-foot-nine-inches that helped her win the event to give her the confidence entering her Junior season at Cascade.
“The phases approach worked well for safety but was a bit weird not being able to see all the events. When we weren’t jumping, masks were required the whole day, so when they called my name, I could take the mask off and go jump,” Gates started. “I am very, very happy with the height I cleared today considering everything that 2020 has brought, and it is also motivation for me to keep working hard.
“I know at some point there will be a season, and I’m thankful I have the mental ability to continue training like usual with no meets or much reward from it right now. It was great because I literally haven’t been able to jump in so long and it makes me happy to know that all it took was one meet for me to PR, I think it really shows how much I’ve improved this year.”
Gates finished second in the long jump with a jump of 16-feet-seven-inches.