COEBURN — Thomas Walker boys track and field coach Rodney Ayers was thinking about leaving stellar athlete Cody Cain out of the high jump for his senior season.
After his performance in Wednesday’s 33rd annual Coalfield.com Invitational, that’s highly unlikely.
Cain cleared a meet record 6-foot-8 in that event, one of three field championships he collected for the Pioneers.
Ayers made no bones about it: his star did it on raw athleticism. There hasn’t been much opportunity to put any polish on things, particularly the high jump.
“We’ve worked on it, but we haven’t worked on it a whole lot. He’s not the best technique guy. He’s just got the height,” said Ayers, who lost Cain for most of last season due to a hamstring injury.
“Somehow, he wills it done. He’ll find a way. He’ll get mad about missing (6-foot-10) because he had the height on that,” Ayers said.
Prior to Wednesday, Cain’s best mark in the high jump was 6-4. That was three years ago.
The jump easily moved the Pioneers’ phenom to the top of the Times-News Relays checklist for that event. Barring injuries, Cain’s newfound vertical explosiveness gives Thomas Walker a realistic opportunity for a 1-2 finish in the high jump at this year’s Group A state meet.
Last year at Radford, William Campbell’s Maxie Crews won it at 6-7. The Pioneers’ Tyler Scott was state runner-up in that event with a 6-6. Wednesday, he finished second to Cain with a 6-4.
“I’m glad I got beat today because it shows I have to try a lot harder than I have been,” said Scott. “It’ll be good. Because me and him will push each other all season.”
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