ANDERSON, Ind. —
“It was a good feeling,” Beard said. “Everybody else that was in state had probably been doing it for four years and practiced all year-round, and I never worked on track as much as I worked on basketball, so it felt good to make it off of just natural talent, really.”
But natural talent will only got him so far.
Beard said he jumped 23 feet, seven inches, in practice just a few days before the state meet — a jump that would have scored him the state title by two inches. But in the meet, Beard couldn’t record a single legal jump, faulting on all three of his attempts and failing to make it to the finals. Eastern Jr./Sr. High School’s Cole Grant took home the title, and Beard was left to watch the rest of the meet wondering what might have been.
House, of course, was disappointed in his senior’s performance.
Yet, even more than the three less than stellar jumps, House was saddened that the state meet crowd wouldn’t get the chance to see the real Jalin Beard compete to his potential like his coach and local fans had witnessed all season.
“It’s just a little upsetting that people didn’t get to see the caliber of a jumper that he was,” House said. “We still haven’t been able to put a finger on what happened at the state meet, whether it was out of routine, nerves — we don’t know for sure.”