Lampasas senior Shonderius Howard captured the silver medal at the Texas Relays in Austin on Friday with a school-record jump of 6 feet, 11¼ inches.
There was no need for Howard to send any consolation message to the previous school-record holder.
Three weeks ago, it was Howard who set the school record with a 6-10 jump.
The Texas Relays featured 33 of the top high jumpers in the state.
“It was an outstanding field,” said Stephen Moseley, the high jump coach for Lampasas. “Taking second at this meet was an absolutely outstanding accomplishment for Shon.”
Of his silver-medal winning jump, Howard said, “I was thinking that it was important to hit all my marks. On my first attempt (at 6-11¼), I went under the bar because my steps were bad. On my second attempt, I got over my nervousness. I looked at Coach Moseley and he just reminded me to stay calm and that’s what I did.”
On that second attempt, Howard cleared the bar easily.
“I could tell Shon was jittery on that first attempt,” Moseley said. “So I just reminded him to be calm and keep his speed, relax and go.
“It’s amazing how high he gets sometimes. With his approach, he can jump 7-3 or 7-4. I’ve told him that. Hopefully he can make those jumps. We just need to make some small adjustments with his approach.”
Moseley said Howard’s positive attitude is the key to his success.
“Shon has shin splints, but he’s not afraid to push through an injury,” Moseley said. “He won’t talk about it but you can see the injury sometimes bothers him. He plays ‘Mr. Tough Guy,’ which is good. I wish I had more guys that played ‘Mr. Tough Guy.’ Shon is strong-willed.”
The 6-foot-2 Howard has finished with the 3A silver medal at the state meet the past two years.
“My goal is to win state this year,” Howard said. “Anything less than that is a failure this year.”
Howard has kept an eye on his potential 3A state competitors.
“While this is a sport you concentrate on yourself, I’ve looked around,” he said. “No one right now is jumping quite as high as me but you can’t ever get too comfortable.”
“Shon can absolutely win state this year,” Moseley said. “It’s been a long time since Lampasas has had a state champ, 2004. So it’s about time. Shon can do it.”