Soroco’s Grant Redmond wins 3rd state title
LAKEWOOD — On a gym floor, Grant Redmond can jump 6 feet, 2 inches or maybe 6 feet, 4 inches at best.
But at the state track meet, Redmond glided over 6 feet, 7 inches easily on the first try. That leap earned him his third straight state title in Class 2A. Redmond now takes his talents to the collegiate level on a small scholarship from Colorado School of Mines.
“I’m excited to be able to practice on a real apron,” Redmond said. “Soroco doesn’t have a real track or an apron. I practice on the gym floor in my basketball shoes.”
The gym floor is limiting because Redmond can’t wear his spikes. His only real practice at higher heights came at meets or occasional trips to Steamboat Springs High School.
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“It’s pretty prohibitive, because it’s hard for him to keep that speed and to lean,” Soroco jumps coach Scot Constine said. “This year I had the ag [agriculture] department weld up our old standards. We added 18 inches to the bottom, so we could get our standards up higher, but he can’t hold the speed or the lean to go 6-7 or higher.”
Redmond was up against Yuma senior Jake Chrisman in the final rounds. Chrisman had only cleared 6 feet, 4 inches before state, but when he cleared 6 feet, 7 inches on his third attempt, the two moved on to 6 feet, 8 inches.
Chrisman and Redmond were both close on their second and third attempts, clipping the bar just enough to make it fall after they landed on the pit. In the end, Redmond won because he cleared the 6-foot-7 bar earlier than Chrisman.
“I just made sure I was using all the speed I could and just relaxed, and it all went well,” Redmond said. “When he cleared 6-7 on his third attempt, I was excited because I knew I was either going to get a PR or I just had to go up from there.”
Constine has coached Redmond since he was not so little. The coach gestures his hand down below him to show the height Redmond was when Constine first met him during 4-H.
“Well, he’s never been that little,” Constine said.
Redmond is a striking 6 feet, 8 inches tall, a commanding figure on the Soroco varsity basketball team since his freshman year. Constine convinced Redmond to try high jump his sophomore year, but on his first day at practice, he broke the bar.
“I am a cabinet-maker, so I took it to the shop and fixed it,” Constine said. “He kind of stayed away for a week or two, and I bugged him again. He broke the bar again at 5-4. And from there, he worked and worked. He’s a natural at it.”
Within a few months, Redmond cleared 6 feet, 4 inches to earn his first state title in Class 2A high jump.
Redmond reached new heights his junior year, clearing 6 feet, 5 inches to take home his second state title. That’s when the track coaches started calling. Redmond liked that option more than college basketball.
“Basketball, you’re getting yelled at, it’s just a stressful sport,” Redmond said. “High jump you get to sit around all day, drink some water, jump 10 times and then you’re done. I like that.”
Constine feels fortunate to coach such talented athletes across both wrestling and track. He takes little credit for Redmond’s career, saying he’s a natural talent. Constine has no background in jumps other than years of watching his daughter Kali Constine in high jump. He was a golfer in high school and learned more about coaching jumps by traveling to camps.
“It’s not me doing that, it’s Grant doing that, just little pointers here and there,” Constine said. “I’ve never jumped in my life. I’ve been fortunate to go to camps with Dick Fosbury. The way the fellas jump now, it’s called the Fosbury Jump.”
Although happy about his state title, Redmond is anxious to see how well he can do with more resources at his disposal.
If natural talent got him this far, then there’s nowhere to go but up.
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