Published: April 4, 2014
About an hour after watching Sand Creek senior Rebecca Harris win her third event at Friday's Scorpion Invitational at Vista Ridge, coach Bobby Tillman still could muster few words.
"Holy crap," the sixth-year Sand Creek coach said.
Not only did Harris win the 100 hurdles, but the defending Class 4A state long jump champion claimed first in that event, too, and capped the day by resetting her school record in the high jump.
And it's barely April, merely halfway through the track and field season.
"Her high jump really surprised me," Tillman said. "I like those kinds of surprises. I didn't think she'd high jump 5-4 (5 feet, 4 inches) today. I think I need to probably not set goals for Rebecca because she keeps surpassing everything I do. The sky's the limit for her."
Actually, new shoes played a pretty vital role too.
"I qualified for state in over four events last year, so we decided to take the high jump off and bring it back this year," Harris said. "I misplaced my jumping shoes since they didn't have any use. Now that I have a new pair, I'm expecting to find the old pair any day now."
Harris rampaged through the high jump, not missing until after she cleared 5-3, her previous best.
Earlier, her victory in the hurdles might have proved to provide the day's biggest highlight, especially considering her frightening injury on the track some six weeks earlier.
On Feb. 15 at the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho, Harris clipped a hurdle and fell hard on her right knee during the finals of the 60-meter hurdles.
Tillman worried that the wreck could affect future races.
"When something like that happens, people can be timid when they come back," Tillman said. "She wasn't. She comes at the hurdles aggressively. She wrecked pretty bad, but she's super tough."
With about six weeks before the 4A state meet in Lakewood, Harris hopes Friday's breakthrough can give her a boost to perhaps ending her high school career as a three-event state champion.
"That's definitely my goal," the Wyoming-bound Harris said.