State Champion spotlight: Katherine Bullock York HS
York senior Katherine Bullock jumped an indoor personal best of 16-8 to win the Class B state title in the long jump. We caught up with her to ask about her preparations, her goals for the season, and how be a state individual champion will effect her outdoor season.
What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
My preparations for the state meet were pretty consistent. I would spend a majority of the week with my jumping coach, Al Taplin, adjusting parts of my form here and there. The other portion of my preparations included short, quick sprints and working with plyo boxes at an indoor turf soccer field.
How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
Pressure and emotions that a state meet brings along have always been my internal battle. I can absolutely say that they have affected me in the past. But this year, I found a sense of calm as these more competitive meets came around. I think that this was mostly because it was my fourth indoor state meet. Being surrounded by fellow competitors can be intimidating at first, but track has come to show me that they can be just as supportive for you as they are for their own teammates.
You came into the state meet seeded third, but pulled off the win with a personal best jump. Your winning jump came on attempt #3, what did you think when you heard the measurement? Did you expect to be able to jump 16-8 coming into the meet?
Hearing the measurement of 16-8 was an absolute surprise. As a jumper, personally, I never know how far I've jumped until it is measured. I honestly wasn't sure how I was going to do this meet, but I had set a goal to try to hit 17-6 which is our current school record for indoor. I had no idea if I would even come close to hitting it, but after hearing the 16-8 mark, I knew I would place well so I was at the point where I could just jump without any of that pressure on my shoulders. I had no idea what I would have been able to jump. In outdoor track, my PR is a 17-1, so I knew I could probably manage something around that distance. Having no WMC meet due to weather was also tough since I wasn't sure how my distance was progressing.
Coming into the season what were your goals and did you achieve them?
Coming into the season, I had a few things I had in mind for goals. First, I wanted to try to break the school record. I didn't achieve that, but I believe doing that would have been pretty challenging to begin with. Secondly, I wanted to be a state champion in the long jump. As a freshman, I was so nervous to be doing the long jump at states. I placed last, and I cried and never wanted to jump again. Becoming a state champion this year was such a redeeming moment for my freshman year self. Thirdly, I wanted to empower my female teammates to feel okay about giving it their all in practices and meets. I know I've experienced some embarrassment when I've tried really hard in practice or became really competitive in meets. I didn't want anyone else to ever feel that way about their abilities. I hope to continue working towards this goal in outdoor track.
How do you think winning an individual state title will effect you heading into outdoors?
Winning an individual state title will increase confidence in my ability to succeed in this event going into outdoor track. I've definitely worked hard since my freshman year for this event, and I hope that the product of my efforts will continue to show itself for my last season running for York.