Area Class AAAA state meet qualifiers

Northwestern’s Tindall tries for third straight high jump state title Saturday

bmccormick@heraldonline.comMay 10, 2013 

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    Boys 4x800 relay – Christian Acker, Anthony Dean, Chad Fennell, Chris Gossett

    Girls 4x100 relay – Brianna Lewis, Simone Robinson, Adia Simpkins, Aubrianna Thompson

    Boys 1600 meter – Christian Acker, Mason Lenox

    Girls 400 meter hurdles – Nicole Rauppius, Adia Simpkins

    Boys 400 meter hurdles – Jared Balasco, Terrill Stanley

    Boys 800 meter – Chad Fennell

    Girls 4x400 relay – Asia Barnes, Taylor Lehman, Brianna Lewis, Simone Robinson

    Girls pole vault – Jordan Collins

    Girls long jump – Julisa Tindall

    Boys pole vault – Daniel Bolin

    Girls high jump – Julisa Tindall

    Boys high jump – Quantarius Caldwell

    Girls triple jump – Julisa Tindall

    Rock Hill

    Boys 4x100 relay – Jonathon Adams, Thailand Adams, Malik Crawford, D’Angelio Nash

    Girls 100 meter hurdles – Lashantay Moye

    Boys 100 meter dash – Malik Crawford Boys 200 meter dash – Malik Crawford

    Girls triple jump – Tylia Moses

    Fort Mill

    Boys 100 meter dash – Josh Lafoe

    Boys 1600 meter – Lucas Stalnaker

    Boys 3200 meter – Lucas Stalnaker

    Boys shot put – Ryan Tankersly

    South Pointe

    Girls 1600 meter – Victoria Burdette

    Boys 1600 meter – Loflin Bridges

    Nation Ford

    Girls 800 meter – Leah Thornock

    Boys long jump – A.K. McCoy


    Girls discus – Yasmine Robinson

It’s a tired cliché, the old “third time’s a charm” bit.

For Northwestern track and field athlete Julisa Tindall, winning her third straight Class AAAA high jump state championship this Saturday at Lower Richland High School won’t be a charm; it’s expected.

“Of course I feel a little bit of pressure,” said Tindall, “but I’m just going to do what I do best Saturday, and just compete against myself, and hopefully win.”

The pressure is nothing new for Tindall, a jumper both graceful and explosive. Amid the chaos of a state meet, the high jumpers are generally off by themselves at one end of the stadium. The track separates them from the stands. Coaches may check in periodically, but it’s mostly the jumper alone with the other competitors, and their thoughts.

“I kind of zone things out and just stand by myself and keep myself positive,” Tindall explained.

“I visualize going over the bar … and then I just attack it.”

Boy, does she.

Tindall high-jumped 5-foot-10 as a sophomore, a mere quarter of an inch off the state record, and the only reason she hasn’t bested the state mark since is she’s so busy in long jump and triple jump as well. Tindall has high-jumped 5-foot-8 this season and Northwestern track and field coach Calvin Hudgins says she looks good heading into the weekend as the state’s top seed.

Tindall is seeded fourth in the long jump (17 feet, 7 inches) and second in the triple jump (38 feet, 4 inches), and will shoot for medals in those events too when they’re held Friday night. The quiet senior is a dream contributor in track and field because of her versatility in three events, something that the College of Charleston will no doubt put to use when she steps on campus this fall to join the Cougar program.

“The only problem with that is she should be doing four,” Hudgins joked. “She’s a great athlete. She can do anything out here. Wherever we sent her she would be successful.”

College of Charleston is moving to the Colonial Athletic Association this fall, and the first place high jumper in the CAA last year cleared 5 feet, 5.25 inches. Consider Tindall jumped 5-10 as a sophomore in her first year of organized track and it’s plain to see that she should make an impact for the Cougars.

“We’re looking at that and we’re really excited,” said College of Charleston head track and field coach Amy Seago. “Even if she’s just having a bad day it’s definitely well within the realm of possibilities for her to be in a position to win.”

Tindall was aware of the College of Charleston’s program because previous Northwestern high jumper Emily Smith went to the school. Seago was very aware of Tindall because “obviously a 5-10 high jump catches any coach’s eye. But she comes from a great family, and I think that means a lot because her values are definitely on board with what we are here at the College of Charleston, what we want in a teammate.”

Tindall, a soft-spoken, focused individual, found the perfect fit in Charleston, despite interest from bigger Division I schools like Stanford and Oregon.

“I just loved the team, the facility and the coaches,” she said. “And of course, the location.”

Such is Tindall’s personality that when she won her second consecutive high jump state title last spring, Northwestern track and field coach Calvin Hudgins didn’t even know until later.

If you didn’t ask her about her previous championships, she wouldn’t tell you.

“That just comes from the way I was raised,” said Tindall. “My parents always taught me to stay focused and go for your goals.”

Also from her parents came springy, dynamic muscles and tendons. Her father Julian played college basketball at Sacred Heart University and her mother Jackie competed in track and field at Virginia State University. The combination of mental acuity and genetic lottery winnings makes Tindall the clear favorite this weekend at Lower Richland. Her experience will be a key factor too.

“In the state meet people are gonna crack,” said Hudgins, whose team is counting on points from Tindall in all three jumping events.

“There’s so much pressure. Have you ever been in a state meet before? You’ve got the ‘wow’ factor, but she (Tindall) shouldn’t have the ‘wow’ factor. There’s gonna be pressure, but in the past she’s been able to handle it.”

Tindall said she competes against herself, not the other jumpers. She plans on majoring in psychology at the College of Charleston, and it’s hard to believe that her high-jumping experiences haven’t shaped an interest in that subject at least a little.

“The high jump is one of the more nerve-wracking events,” Hudgins explained.

“I often wonder what’s going on in their minds down there. What’s going on in your head? I’m not sure I could do it and be successful at it, because you’ve got five minutes to talk yourself out of it … or into it.”

Pole vaulters Kimberleigh Riggs and Mitch Greeley are Northwestern’s only other three-time state track and field champions. There could be a third Trojan joining their elite ranks this weekend. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll tell you about it.


Bret McCormick •  329-4032.

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