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HS Sports Greater Johnstown

May 18, 2012

Somerset’s Coyle captures triple jump crown

ALTOONA — A year ago, Jayna Coyle seemed to surprise even herself when she qualified for the state track

and field championships in the triple jump.

She didn’t win the event at the District 6 Class AAA meet – the only way to make it automatically – but she got a distance good enough to go.

Thursday, the Somerset junior left nothing to chance. She topped the state qualifying mark by nearly a foot, and topped the field by a half inch, winning the gold medal and clinching her second trip to Shippensburg.

“I hit the qualifying mark a couple times before this, so I was hoping I’d make it,” Coyle said. “I was pretty confident I would.”

She is the only qualifier among the two local schools in the meet.

Johnstown’s last best hope, Tashauna Smith, led half the oval in the 400, but dropped off at the end, falling by less than a second to State College’s Chandley Book.

Smith also finished second in the 100, just two-tenths of a second off state qualifying time.

Coyle knows the road will get bumpier after this, and is already mapping out her strategy.

“(I need to) work really hard throughout the week, do all my drills,” she said. “My first phase is a little high, I’ll work on that.”

Coyle looked intense just in warm-ups, but was somewhat demure about her victory. Her triple jump distance  – 37 feet, 31/2 inches – was a foot off her best of the season.

“I’m happy with it. I wanted to get more,” she said. “It’s OK, I’m going to states. I’ll try my best there.”


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