“At first, I didn’t know about it, because I tried the year before and couldn’t get it down,” Thompson said. “But coach Mitchell helped a lot.”
And yet, the problem with The Anniston Star’s female Athlete of the Year competing was that others couldn’t compete with her.
“After about two weeks of me seeing her jump I didn’t have any doubts about her making it to state,” Mitchell said. “I knew there wasn’t any other girl that was going to out-jump her. Then again, there was only one other girl, Raven Stewart from Guntersville, all year long that out-jumped her, and she’s going to Auburn.”
But, in Class 3A, Thompson not only won the state championship in May, setting a new state record of 37-02 as she did it, but she broke the state record on her second jump and broke her own record in the finals.
“I was determined to win it,” Thompson said. “After the third jump I noticed something was different because they had officials looking at it then they announced it.”
Although Thompson broke the state record, she actually had higher expectations than she met. Her goal, which was set after the first track meet, was to reach 38 feet.
Despite it being the senior’s first year doing triple jump, she was a five-year veteran on the team and had a runner-up finish in long jump at state in 2012. Her success in long jump and high jump furthered Mitchell’s confidence about Thompson’s abilities.
“Her first, second and third phase of triple jump were perfect,” Mitchell said. “That’s why she was able to get 37 feet and in a couple of years I think she could get 40.”
At state, Thompson took second place in both long jump and high jump, as well. But the last event of her career was the triple jump, which allowed the senior to end her dominance at Piedmont as a state champion.
Thompson’s senior year included signing a volleyball scholarship to Wallace State-Hanceville, being named the county Class 3A girls basketball player of the year and breaking a state record in track.
“It was all natural,” Mitchell said. “It was as natural as it could be for her.”
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.