By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– One of Oregon’s best High Jumpers just signed her Letter of Intent to join the Pac.
Monday afternoon marked a new chapter for Cascade’s Emma Gates as the Cougar senior signed her Letter of Intent to jump for the University of Arizona. Joining the ranks of Division-1 athletics on the heels of a junior year that saw set the school record in the 200-meter dash (25.35 on May 15) and her main event High Jump (five-foot-eleven-inches on April 23).
Not to mention she nearly reached that six-foot-mark on a few occasions, including on April 23 against Stayton when she was a heel-tap away from the mark as Gates wrapped up her final year of Volleyball earlier this month. Helping Cascade to their first-ever State Volleyball Title in school history.
“It’s great to finally get to where I want to be. I’m really excited for the school, when I went and visited, I just fell in love with the area. I’m super excited for the next chapter of my life,” Gates said. “I’m looking at a few other ones, maybe the 400 and the 100. But I’m happy with those (last year). It’s nice to leave a legacy at the school but yeah, I’m hoping to build on the high jump one too this year.”
Arizona is located in Tuscon, Arizona where the Wildcats have produced 25 individual National Champions since 1980 in Women’s Outdoor Track and Field that includes seven High Jump titles and another eight National Titles in Indoor Track-and-Field.
Gates ended up taking the 4A State Title at Sisulaw High School in May with a jump of five-foot-six-inches. Winning by a four-inch margin for her second State Title in three years.
Now entering her senior year of Track and Field, Gates is hoping to find some consistency this season. Working on the finer details of her approach in hopes to increase her school record at High Jump before graduation.
“It’s definitely a learning experience. I feel like I start off every year doing better jumping wise at the beginning of the season so I’m definitely going to be focusing on being more consistent throughout and hopefully peak at the end instead of the beginning,” Gates starts.
“I’ve been talking with my coaches and we’re just going to be working on different movements I need to do. I think as I get stronger in the sprinting side of it…it somehow translates over to High Jump that I don’t do well in because I’m doing the wrong movement. So, we’re trying to work out the finer details.”
The Track and Field season starts February 28 in Oregon with Cascade’s first track meet of the year schedule for March 30 against Sweet Home at Cascade High School.