By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
Jefferson high jumper David Chase is no stranger to winning regional track titles after claiming the championship a year ago.
Chase defended his regional title on Saturday, winning the high jump with a leap of 6-6 at Bedford.
“There was very competition there this year,” Jefferson coach T.J. Furman said. “After the jump at 6-4, there were still six or seven guys left. The jump at 6-5 took out a few.”
Chase will head to the State Track and Field Championships next weekend in Columbus.
Chase was ready for the competition, having been there and been successful there before. Which helped, after he began to struggle later in the competition.
“I just think it’s muscle memory,” Furman said. “He settled down. He missed his first two attempts at 6-0. He settled down and jumped. He kept everything nice and smooth and just jumped.”
After those two missed jumps, Furman pulled Chase aside.
“We just told him to take a deep breath, settle down, relax, and juts do it,” Furman said. “He’s done it constantly. He just had to settle down and do it.”
Chase being the competitor he is, did as asked.
“He’s just such a great kid,” Furman said. “He went back to work and did it.”
The event is just as much a mental competition as a physical one.
“For us, we just wanted him to go in and stay confident in his abilities,” Furman said. “He knew what he had to do going in. There was a bit more pressure on him being the regional champ last year going in. He did a good job keeping his composure and going right in after it.”
The 1,600-meter relay team of Jerry Scott, Matt Kantor, James Jackson and Chase finished eighth.
Kantor was ninth in 1,600-meter run.
“It was a solid effort,” Furman said. “He put himself in position to do what he could do to go. He was third coming around the the third lap. He just ran out of gas a little bit. He’ll be back for sure.”