By Richard Greene
After four years of trying to make it to Austin, Bridgeport’s Garrett Mullins made every jump on the main stage count Friday afternoon.
Mullins landed all six of his attempts in the Class 3A long jump finals at the University Interscholastic League championships past 22 feet.IMG_1375
His best jump of 22-8.75 landed him in fifth place at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.
“It feels great seeing how all the other years I missed getting here by a couple of spots,” the senior said. “This last year I got into it and got a great spot.”
Texarkana Liberty-Eylau’s Jarrion Lawson defended his Class 3A crown and set a new conference record with a jump of 25-8 on his first attempt of the day.
“After seeing that on the first jump, it pushed me,” Mullins said. “But I knew I was shooting for second and after that.”
Waco Connally’s Jeremiah Payne took the silver medal with a jump of 23-2.5 on his final attempt of the day. Ti Russell of Lubbock Estacado finished third with a jump of 23-1.5.
Mullins was in medal contention throughout the event. His first jump of 22-7 put him in third place through the first round. He landed his best jump in the second round to remain in third. He stayed there until the fourth round of jumps.
“I knew people were going to be trying to come after those first three spots,” Mullins said. “I had to keep it going.”
Russell landed a jump of 23-1.5 to move into third in the fourth round.
Mullins followed him with an effort of 22-8. The Bridgeport senior closed the competition with jumps of 22-1.75 and 22-5.5.
“All above 22,” Mullins said. “I was happy with that — being consistent.
“I felt great while I was jumping. I couldn’t get what I was hoping to get, but I felt great. It was great way to end the year. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Bridgeport coach Pete Hart praised Mullins for his work to get to Austin and his finish among the state’s best.
“This was the most consistent he’s ever jumped,” Hart said. “To come down here, you distinguish yourself as one of the top jumpers in the state.
“He had six legal jumps with every one of them between 22-1 and 22-8. We’re proud of him. Garrett has worked hard for four years to get here in the long jump. Finishing fifth in Texas is a pretty good honor.”