AUSTIN — Cory Scott is a high jumper now.
The Copperas Cove senior signed with Stephen F. Austin to play basketball next year. But those plans may be changing.
Scott won the gold medal in the 5A high jump at the UIL State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, clearing 7 feet — the distance usually required for Division I scholarship track athletes.
“I feel like I am (a high jumper now),” Scott said as he clutched his gold medal.
Scott’s ascension to the best high jumper in the state was swift. Knowing they were behind in points at the district meet, Bulldawg coaches called Scott and pulled him out of class.
Scott responded by clearing 7-0 there, too, and easily winning the District 8-5A track and field meet.
Winning state, though, came a little bit harder for the “basketball star.”
“Everybody was clearing 6-8 and I don’t know if I have ever been at a meet where more than two people were at 6-8,” Scott said. “I was like, ‘Dang, I might not be winning.’ Then I cleared it and they started dropping like flies.”
Scott nearly bowed out himself at 6-10, missing on his first two attempts before clearing the height on his third and final try.
“I was thinking, “You’re not a high jumper, you are just out here for fun,” Scott said of his final attempt. “‘In the last jump, just go as hard as you can.’”
Now Scott is thinking about other things — like new scholarship opportunities. And maybe even leaving basketball behind and becoming, once and for all, a high jumper.
“I am considering it,” Scott said. “I have no clue right now (what I am going to do). I have to talk to my parents and think about it. I never imagined myself as a high jumper.”
Lampasas’ Howard high jumps to silver
Scott was not the only area basketball player to medal in the high jump Saturday.
Lampasas junior Shondarious Howard needed a little help to get his medal, though.
Before every jump, Howard waited as the UIL officials bent down and unsnapped the inch-high metal barrier that surrounded the track at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The Lampasas junior needed a bit more running room.
“That was different. I have never had anyone do that before,” Howard said. “It is nice that they did that and I appreciate it.
“They asked us before we started jumping if we needed more room, and I think I was the only one that really needed it. I guess it helped me.”
It did help him, to a silver medal in the 3A high jump.
Howard cleared 6-foot-7 on his first attempt. He grazed the bar with his back leg, causing it to shake, but not enough to dislodge it.
“I felt it a little bit, but not enough where I thought it would fall down,” Howard said.
Despite the solid jump, he was outdone again by Spencer McCloud of Argyle, who won the event for the second straight year with a height of 6-8. And again, he beat out Howard, who placed second last year.
“I am disappointed,” Howard said. “I came to win and I didn’t. It is really frustrating. I had a little confidence when we tied at the Texas Relays.”
Howard cleared 6-4 with ease, cleared 6-6 on his second attempt, but missed all three times at 6-8, giving the gold medal to McCloud.
“I had some good jumps early but the higher it got the more my steps were off,” Howard said. “I was panicking a little bit and missing my marks and not bounding as much as I should have — just not trusting my steps, and that is what got me.”