ONE GIANT LEAP: Adams wins long jump at NCHSAA 4-A state championship
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2022
The meteoric rise of Tyson Adams reached another new height last Saturday at the NCHSAA 4-A state track and field championships in Greensboro at N.C. A&T.
Adams, a junior in his first year competing in track and field, won his second state championship in the long jump, following up on his win in February during the indoor state championships.
Adams jumped 22 feet, 11½ inches to claim the title last week, overcoming his competitors, some nerves, and the heat.
“I had never jumped at A&T before and I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Adams said. “The runway there is a little different than the others I’ve been competing in during outdoor season. And it was hot. Really, really hot. Those are conditions I haven’t really jumped in before, either. I don’t think the nerves impacted my head, but I think it was more my body and my legs. They just felt weird.”
Adams recorded his winning jump during the qualifying round. The event started with 16 participants, with the top nine advancing to the finals. Adams got his winning jump on the third jump in the qualifying round, which carried over to the finals since none of his other jumps were better than that mark.
Then he had to sweat things out as the other jumpers took their turns. Literally.
Adams got to jump last during the finals and knew exactly how he stood after he watched as jumper after jumper failed to equal or better his existing distance.
“It was kind of nice and kind of nervous at the same time,” Adams said. “I liked being in the position of watching them and knowing what I might need to do. But I really think the heat made a difference on all of us. We all seemed to jump better last weekend during our regional meets. I set a new PR (personal record) at our regional last week (24 feet, 4 inches at Davie County). Just us going out for warm-ups I think made some of us tired. We were all really just trying to stay in the shade as much as we could in between jumps.”
Adams also said that having a target on his back got him thinking more.
“I think with the success I’ve had so far, I’m not going to catch anyone by surprise like I did at the beginning of indoor season,” Adams said. “My first jump (in indoor) was 22-8 and I was ranked No. 2 in the country going into the indoor state championships. And since I had never competed in a meet like that before, there were definitely some nerves. But I thought I could win based on my results. And competing at the outdoor meet, I had some of those same thoughts because it was my first time doing outdoor and everyone knew who I was because I had won the indoor meet. I am also undefeated so far and I’d like to keep that going.”
Once Adams realized he had won the competition, he said the tension his body was feeling escaped.
“I definitely feel like I could relax more at that point,” he said. “My legs felt freer, and I had one last jump left. I think I made my best jump, but I scratched. I didn’t hit the board with any of my jumps during the meet. Everything was behind it until that one. This is the first time in a while during a meet when I didn’t jump more than 23 feet.”
Adams was also recognized last Friday as the male student athlete of the year at West Forsyth.
Next up on his competition calendar is the adidas National Meet on June 17, which will also be held at N.C. A&T.
“Now that I know what to expect there, I don’t think I’ll be as nervous for that one,” Adams said with a laugh. “The runway there is softer, and the board is a lot like the board we practice on at JDL (FastTrack, and indoor track facility in Winston-Salem). I’m really looking forward to it. Especially now that I’ll be more prepared for the heat this time around.”