COLUMBIA — Northwesterns Julisa Tindall closed out a memorable track and field career on a high note at the Class 4A state championship meet Saturday at Lower Richland Stadium.
Tindall became the seventh female in history and the first at the 4A level in 20 years to retire with three gold medal performances in the high jump. The final winning leap was five feet, six inches the lowest of her three winning heights at state.
To be honest, I was looking to break the state record (5-10.5) but was qualified in three jumping events for the first time and that took a lot out of me. I just didnt have the legs, so I was happy to get the win, said the Trojans senior who joins former pole vault standout Kimberleigh Riggs as the only three-time event winners in program history.
Two other regional athletes won gold: Leah Thornock of Nation Ford won the 800 meter girls race in 2:17.96 while Terrance Morris of Chester had a combined effort of 46-feet, 4-inches to win the triple jump in the state AAA meet.
Tindall finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump while helping Northwestern to a third place finish with 43 points. She was most pleased by the 39-9.75 effort in the triple jump that netted her a silver medal and established personal and school records.
That was my final event in high school, so it was a good way to go out, she said.
Tindall is looking forward to continuing her career and the pursuit for a six-foot high jump barrier at the College of Charleston.
Ill do whatever events Im asked to do, but it would be nice to concentrate my strength training and technique work on just the high jump, she said. I never got over 5-10 in high school, but Im confident Ill continue to improve especially if I become more specialized in college.
Tindalls best jump was the 5-10 that earned a gold medal as a sophomore in 2011. She went 5-8 for her second win a year ago.
I only gave high jumping a try because my sister did it before me, but I really have come to enjoy the challenge of going as high as possibly can, she said. Ive tried some other sports, but track is it for me.
The Northwestern boys did not produce an event winner, but the Trojans had a solid team performance that netted 46 points and a fourth place finish.
It was the 10th top 10 finish for the Trojans in the last 12 years and matched the teams top points total and standings finish since the state championship season of 2004.
Terrill Stanley and Chad Fennell were the Northwestern headliners with silver-medal efforts in the 400-meter huddles and the 800. Christian Acker earned a bronze medal for a third-place finish in the 1600.
Fennell and Acker teamed up with Anthony Dean and Chris Gossett for a third-place finish in the 3200 relay on Friday night.
Jordan Collins placed third in the pole vault to provide Tindall with medal backing on the girls team.
Rock Hills 400 boys relay was the areas only other medal performance. Tre Thompson, Thailand Adams, Malik Crawford and DAngelo Nash teamed up for a third-place finish.