It would be a shame not to legally legitimize all of the legendary Ja'mari Ward's jumps (Tony Holler image)
If Illinois is really entering a golden era of track and field and want to be recognized nationally in sprints and jumps like CA, FL, TX, and GA there is one instrument more coaches should invest in.....a wind gauge! There are two types, an ultrasonic (expensive) and economical (inexpensive; most popular in high school) wind gauge.
Sprinters and jumpers like to see how they stack up against other athletes in the state or nationally. During the 2014 indoor season I knew this and decided to invest in a wind gauge to help IL athletes get ranked outdoors at meets my team attended. I reached out to meet managers for our first few meets to no avail. I finally got a yes from a meet manager to set it up for jumps only (shout out to coach Alec Holler of Edwardsville & Plainfield North head man Tony Holler for assisting me). Alright now, I got to set up my wind gauge at a meet featuring one of the premier jumpers in country in Cahokia sophomore Ja'Mari Ward. The end result were two wind legal marks (24'9/50'6) that ranked top five in the USA.
To make up for my lack of wind gauge use in 2014, I vowed to use it more in 2015 at meets. I also knew that the World Youth Trials were that summer and that I crossed paths in the season with athletes who were eligible to compete at that meet. Here are a few performances of wind legal marks achieved using my gauge and some meets it was used at:
-Briana Driver of Chicago Mother McAuley; 19'8" (US#15) in long jump at Windy City Relays (3A State Champ)
-Jaimie Robinson, formerly of Chicago De La Salle; 39'2" in TJ at Windy City Relays (2A Champ/Record Holder; qualified for World Youth Trials)
-Jim Arnold Invitational at Glenbard West
-Chicago Catholic League Meet