For most high school sophomores winning a district and area title in your track event, along with setting a new school record, would be a great season. That wasn’t enough to satisfy Vernon’s Key’Maria McBride, so she went to the Class 3A Region 1 Track & Field Meet and clinched a trip state.
Key’Maria will compete in the Triple Jump at the Class 3A State Track & Field Meet on Thursday in Austin after finishing second at the regional meet.
While the VHS sophomore also competed in the long jump, the 200-meter dash and ran a leg on the Lady Lions’ 800-meter relay team this season, the triple jump is Key’Maria’s favorite event.
“I’ve been doing the triple jump since I was in seventh grade,” she said. “It’s always been my favorite.”
After winning the District 7-3A title, Key’Maria went to the Area Track Meet and broke a 21-year-old Vernon High School record on her very first jump with a distance of 37-feet, 9-inches. The old mark, set in 2002, was 37-feet, 6-inches.
“I really wasn’t thinking about breaking the school record at first, I was just trying to get better,” Key’Maria explained. “But as I got better, it definitely became a goal for me. I knew what the school record was and I was working hard to get to that point. When I ended up breaking it, it was just amazing!”
While working out in the weight room on Mondays and Wednesdays, and going through off season for volleyball and basketball, the other two sports the sophomore excels at, Key’Maria has been practicing before and after school on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as she prepares for her trip to state.
“I’ve been working on getting stronger and on my technique,” she said. “There’s a lot of technique with the triple jump. You have to get hit your steps just right and then hit the board just right to get your best jump.”
As a freshman last year, Key’Maria’s best jump was just over 35-feet, so she has improved her distance by over 2 feet in one year.
While she’s excited to be going to the state meet and will be trying her best to win a medal, whether she brings home any hardware are not won’t determine if it is a successful meet in Key’Maria’s eyes.
“I want to PR (set a personal record) again,” she said. “I’ve been working and trying hard to get to 38-feet. I’m a few inches short. If I could hit 38-feet it would feel great.”