Hayden’s Rajzer wins triple jump triple crown
Triple jump is hard to follow and hard to compete in because it’s difficult to tell who is winning and when the event was won. There is no finish and no neck-and-neck battle through the final stretch.
Unlike pole vault and high jump, there is no progression of heights so it’s near impossible to know who is leading at any point.
The event doesn’t even have to be won in finals. It can be won at any moment by anyone.
At the 2022 Colorado High School Activities Association State Track and Field Championships, Hayden senior Alison Rajzer won on her last attempt in finals, earning a triple crown of triple jump championships.
Rajzer knew the second she hit the pit that it was the jump she was looking for.
“My phases felt good. They felt really good,” she said. “I could tell based on how far I was out in the pit. And my family going absolutely nuts. They knew it was good.”
When the official put her distance of 34 feet, 10 inches on the sign, Rajzer burst into tears. It wasn’t what she was hoping for. She thought she had hit at least 35 feet, if not more. She was ultimately aiming for a state record. When the board read 34, she didn’t think she had done enough.
Her mom and sister knew, though. They had been keeping track of every jump and beckoned the Tiger over to the sidelines for congratulatory hugs and tears.
Over the last three years and two state championships (the 2020 championships were canceled), Rajzer won the event on her last jump of the preliminaries. This year, she really built the suspense, waiting until her final jump to hit 34 feet. The three jumpers behind her couldn’t beat her best, putting her on top of the podium for the third time in four years.
“It’s something I can be independent in,” Rajzer said. “If I want to get better, the only person that can do that for me, is me.”
On her next-to-last jump, Rajzer scuffed the inside of her left thigh with her spike. She got the gash wrapped and proceeded to victory.
The thick black tape around her leg wasn’t the only evidence of Rajzer’s grit. She had a scabbed-over scrape on her right shoulder from falling across the finish line in the 4×200, a race she stepped up to run after senior teammate Jillian Bennett returned to Routt County for graduation on Sunday.
Rajzer took Bennett’s spot as the anchor despite never having run the distance in a meet before. She said it was an easy decision to make, though.
“Sophomore Jenna Kleckler, she was in tears,” Rajzer said. “The 4×200 is what she came to state for, her only event. That’s my little sister’s best friend. So I was like, ‘You know what Jenna, you really want to run this, I know your family is here. Let’s do it.’”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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