2012 Preview - Girls Jumps: Versatility a virtue for Forbes and other top leapers

Carla Forbes, holder of New Balance titles in both the LJ and TJ and the nation's #1 outdoor returnee in the latter, has started fast with a US#1 40-10 TJ. Doug Austin/ESPNHS

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After competing for the U.S. in France last summer and attending an elite triple jumping clinic in the Bahamas, Carla Forbes is bringing a new perspective to her budding track and field career.

The Newton North (Newtonville, Mass.) junior is already one of the top high school jumpers in the nation, based on a sophomore season in which she went 42-1.50 in the triple jump (at the World Youth Trials). Forbes has also gone 19-5.5 in the long jump and demonstrated versatility in sprint events as well. She made a big impact from the start at Newton North, winning the triple jump at Nike Indoor Nationals as a freshman in 2010, the long jump at New Balance Indoor Nationals in 2011, and several state titles indoors and out.

“Her work ethic is second to none,” Newton North coach Joe Tranchita said. “Sometimes you have to chase her out of practice. She’s a coach’s dream.”

The above-mentioned versatility of Forbes is a common theme among 2012’s top returning girls jumpers. You can’t be much more versatile than Kell (Marietta, Ga.) junior Kendell Williams, who is probably best known as a heptathlete, but has 6-0 high jump hops and has long-jumped 19-8.75. When it comes to combining both horizontal jumps and the high jump, Monroe (Albany, Ga.) senior Mimieux Land may be the country’s best. And, like Forbes, Plano East (Plano, Texas) senior Jennifer Madu and Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.) senior Jasmine Todd are devastating in combining sprints and both horizontal jumps.

Project Triple Jump a boon to Forbes

With all of the competition this year will bring, getting off to a great start doesn’t hurt and that’s what Forbes has done. A little more than a week after taking part in the Project Triple Jump clinic, sponsored by NSSF, she broke her indoor PR in the triple jump, going a US#1 40-10.

“I like the challenge of the triple jump,” she said. “It’s a challenging event (to master) and it’s a lot of work. The reward when you get there is definitely great.”

Forbes pours herself into her work. She not only accepted the invitation to be part of Project Triple Jump, she also wrote blog posts to give the outside world a sense for what was going on.

In the Bahamas, she had the opportunity to see new training techniques and listen to renowned Bahamian coach Peter Pratt.

“It’s definitely raising expectations, just to be able to say you’ve worked with (Coach Pratt),” Forbes said. “I definitely think there’s a higher expectation because you’ve put yourself on the radar. It’s an extra thing to push you.”

She added that her trip to the Bahamas served to reinforce that she was doing many of the right things in training. “Some of what they taught was an emphasis on things I was already doing.”

But Forbes also came back home with a clearer idea about how to approach competition. “The big thing that helped me down there were lessons on centering and taking control of each jump,” she said. “I’m definitely learning that, how to focus on myself and not to have a cloudy mind.”

And she also has a better understanding of where she is in relation to the top athletes in the country, if not the world.

“Being stuck up north sometimes you get a one-dimensional view,” Forbes said. “When you go to something like (World Youth Games or Project Triple Jump) you get the overall view of what people can really do. It definitely broadens my view of track.”


KENDELL WILLIAMS, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013

Even if she wasn’t a top national-class hurdler and heptathlete, Williams deserves mention here just for her jumping … with her current US#1 5-10.75 HJ, she has already exceeded her 2011 indoor best of 5-9.25 from the NBIN pentathlon … was extremely consistent in HJ outdoors last year, with 6-0 best that makes her top US returnee … her overall LJ PR came indoors last winter at Kentucky Invite; her 19-8.75 there makes her top indoor returnee (went 19-7.5 outdoors) … often gets her best LJ and HJ marks in multis.

MADDIE MORROW, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012

Last year, Morrow divided New Balance nationals HJ titles with now-graduated Ohio rival Taylor Burke, taking 2nd at NBIN and 1st at NBON … her current US#2 of 5-10 gives her more than a dozen clearances over that mark in her career … was knocking at door of 6 feet last year both indoors and outdoors as she hit 5-11 marks to win indoor state and in taking 2nd at outdoor state (behind Burke’s US#1) … has committed to Duke.

RACHAL PROTEAU, West Albany (Albany, Ore.), 2013

Proteau had a stunning late-season surge last spring as a sophomore to move into the national HJ elite … by late May her PR was just 5-7, which she leapt to win 5A state … went up to 5-9 in taking BorderDuel, but it was her unlooked-for US#5 5-10.75 for 2nd at USATF Juniors that really opened eyes … she earned Pan-Am Junior ticket, where she was 5th … came back at end of July for USATF JOs Intermediate Girls title … is #3 returnee outdoors.

DerRENAE FREEMAN, West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), 2012

Freeman made her mark at end of Fla. outdoor season as she went 19-10. 5 (nwi) in LJ at region meet, then a legal then-US#1 20-0.75 to win 4A state … wound up the season US#3 and is top returnee … later won Golden South (19-4, nwi), but had disappointing World Youth Trials (6th) … came back in the summer for AAU Club Nats title … improved almost a foot during junior season from 19-1 PR as soph … also a 12.08/24.60 sprinter (both nwi).

JASMINE TODD, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012

Has been a major jumping/sprinting force for national powerhouse Chandler her entire career … #2 returnee in TJ outdoors with her 41-5 (+1.3w) from Chandler Rotary last spring and #5 LJ returnee with 19-8.75 best … won both at D1 state, AZ Meet of Champs and LJ at Nike Track Nationals … tripled the 60, LJ and TJ at Great Southwest Indoor last year … LJ PR came in 2010 state meet with 19-11; she also won GSW outdoor LJ that year (19-9w).

JENNIFER MADU, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012

Like Kendell Williams, Madu will get extensive mention in sprints/hurdles, as well as here … in TJ, she was 2nd at World Youth Trials with US#6 41-3 (#3 returnee) to make Team USA in 2 events (also 100, where she’d win gold) … was US#1 in TJ in 2010 with 42-0.75 to win Great Southwest … LJ PRs are 19-4nwi and 19-2 legal … TJ win and LJ 2nd were part of quadruple attempt at 5A state last year … strong start to indoor already, including US#5 39-6.75 at Arkansas.

MIMIEUX LAND, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012

Land is an impressive do-it-all jumper with (legal) PRs of 5-8.75 HJ, 19-6.25 LJ (#8 returnee) and 40-4 TJ (#7 returnee); no one else combines the three quite so well … won Golden West with TJ PR last spring … has won all 3 events at 3A state two years running … at World Youth Trials, she was 2nd in HJ and LJ, but not named to Team USA … won Golden South HJ and TJ, and 3rd in LJ … also took USATF JOs (YW) in HJ … has committed to Florida.

JESSIE JOHNSON, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012

Johnson had her best jump early last spring, a 13-3 in March that would stand up for US#6 for the year and makes her the top returnee for 2012 … in early January this year, she matched her 2nd best meet ever at 13-0 to own the current US#1 … won her second straight 3A state title last spring with 12-9 … she has committed to Auburn.

SYDNEY WHITE, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012

With her US#7 13-1.25 PR, White placed 8th at the World Youth Championships last summer and is the #2 US returnee … has gotten off strong in 2012 already with 12-8 victory at the Reno PV Summit … great consistency in big meets last year, including runner-up finishes behind Morgan LeLeux at both NBIN and NBON … her 12-10.25 indoor PR at NBIN made her US#6 and she is #2 returnee there, as well, this time behind Megan Clark … her 12-3.5 soph best in 2010 earned her USATF JOs title in Intermediate Girls.

DANIELLE WILLIAMS, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012

Not too many athletes become TJ specialists in HS, but Williams is about as close to that as you can get … does some sprinting and long jumping, but TJ by far her best event … very fast start to 2012 with 40-10 PR at Colo. School of Mines Open to tie US#1, one of 3 meets over 40 already for her … 40-4.25 outdoor PR at 5A state last year, but lost by an inch … won Great Southwest with 39-10 leap … 2nd at USATF JOs (Young Women) with 39-8.5 … 2nd at Simplot last winter at 38-8.5.

MEGAN CLARK, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012

After an outstanding 2011 at James O’Neill HS in NY, Clark is now in Georgia after a move dictated by family military obligations … her US#4 13-0 PR indoors at Eastern States in 2011 makes her #1 returnee and she has a 12-4 best (7th PV Summit) so far this winter … her best outdoors last spring was 12-8 at the Ahern Classic and she’s #7 returnee there … she was also 3rd at WY Trials and 7th at NBON in spring, after a 4th at NBIN … took state titles both indoors and out in 2011.


OUTDOOR EVENTS - Scroll down for indoor lists

High Jump

National Record: 6-4, Amy Acuff, Calallen (Corpus Christi, Texas), 1993, and Toni

Young, Del City (Del City, Okla.), 2009

2011 Best: 6-1.25, Taylor Burke, Medina (Medina, Ohio), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 6-0, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013

2. 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012

3. 5-10.75, Rachel Proteau, West Albany (Albany, Ore.), 2013

4. 5-10, Taylor Twedt, Westfork (Sheffield, Iowa), 2012

4. 5-10, Kiara Wright, Clear Lake (Houston, Texas), 2012

4. 5-10, Emily Godwin, Buckhann Upshur (Buckhannon, W.Va.), 2013

4. 5-10, Sara Henry, Somerset (Somerset, Wis.), 2012

4. 5-10, Audrey Ketcham, Wenatchee (Wenatchee, Wash.), 2012

4. 5-10, Ashlee Moore, Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.), 2014

4. 5-10, Julisa Tindall, Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.), 2013

Long Jump

National Record: 22-3, Kathy McMillan, Hoke County (Raeford, N.C.), 1976

2011 Best: 20-4.25, Jenna Prandini, Clovis (Clovis, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 20-0.75, DerRenae Freeman, West Orange (Winter Garden, Fla.), 2012

2. 19-11, Robin Reynolds, Jackson (Miami, Fla.), 2012

3. 19-10.75, Ashlie Curenton, Silverado (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 2012

4. 19-10.25, Kyla Walker, White Station (Memphis, Tenn.), 2012

5. 19-8.75, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012

6. 19-7.5, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013

7. 19-6.5, Clariwin Dameus, Santaluces (Lantana, Fla.), 2012

8. 19-6.25, Aliyah Harmon, Rich Central (Olympia Fields, Ill.), 2013

8. 19-6.25, Mimieux Land, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012

10. 19-6, Alexis Faulknor, Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions

1. 20-0.5, Kira Moreland, Los Osos (Ontario, Calif.), 2012

2. 19-10.75, Anna Robinson, DeSoto (DeSoto, Texas), 2013

3. 19-9.5, Chyna Ries, Washington (Denver, Colo.), 2014

4. 19-9, Chantavia Johnson, Molina (Dallas, Texas), 2012

5. 19-6.25, Sidney Conley, Fayetteville (Fayetteville, Ark.), 2012

Triple Jump

National Record: 44-11.75, Brittany Daniels, West (Tracy, Calif.), 2004

2011 Best: 43-2.5, Ciarra Brewer, James Logan (Union City, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 42-1.5, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013

2. 41-5, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012

3. 41-3, Jennifer Madu, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012

4. 40-6, Cydney Leath, Mt. Pleasant (San Jose, Calif.), 2012

5. 40-4.25, Danielle Williams, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012

5. 40-4.25, Rachel Toliver, St. Mary’s Acad. (Berkeley, Calif.), 2013

7. 40-4, Mimieux Land, Monroe (Albany, Ga.), 2012

8. 40-3.5, Brianna Richardson, Rockwell-Heath (Heath, Texas), 2012

9. 40-3.25, Jessica Caldwell, McDonogh (Owings Mill, Md.), 2012

10. 39-11.5, Molly Gribbin, South Burlington (S. Burlington, Vt.), 2012

Wind-aided/NWI additions

1. 41-3.5, Melodee Riley, Riverhead (Riverhead, N.Y.), 2012

2. 41-2.75, Richardson

3. 40-9.5, Gribbin

4. 40-8.75, Sasha Wallace, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2013

5. 40-5, Imani Wright, Liberty-Eylau (Texarkana, Texas), 2013

6. 40-4.5, Adefunke Sonaike, Montgomery (Skillman, N.J.), 2012

7. 40-3.25, Simone Charley, Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.), 2013

8. 40-2.25, Nataliyah Friar, E.E. Holt (Wentzville, Mo.), 2013

9. 40-0.75, Alyssa Kelly, Blue Valley West (Overland Park, Kan.), 2012

10. 40-0.5, Ashley Ivey, Washington County (Sandersville, Ga.), 2012

Pole Vault

National Record: 14-2.75, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011

2011 Best: 14-2.75, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 13-3, Jessie Johnson, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012

2. 13-1.25, Sydney White, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012

3. 13-0, McKenzie Johnson, Clairemont (San Diego, Calif.), 2012

4. 12-9.75, Victoria Rische, Foothill (Santa Ana, Calif.), 2012

5. 12-9, Alyssa Applebee, Seneca (Seneca, Ill.), 2012

5. 12-9, Cimran Virdi, Las Lomas (Walnut Creek, Calif.), 2012

7. 12-8, Megan Clark, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012

8. 12-7.5, Hannah Acton, Bloomington South (Bloomington, Ind.), 2012

9. 12-7.25, Katie Rancourt, East Kentwood (Kentwood, Mich.), 2012

10. 12-7, Alex Flucke, Ashwaubenon (Green Bay, Wis.), 2013

10. 12-7, Chanel Krause, St. Paul Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.), 2013

NATION'S TOP RETURNEES (and current leaders)


High Jump

National Record: 6-3, Lisa Berhagen, Wood River (Hailey, Id.), 1984

2011 Best: 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 5-11, Maddie Morrow, Hoover (North Canton, Ohio), 2012

2. 5-9.25, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013

3. 5-8, Taylor Morgan, Upper Dublin (Ft. Washington, Pa.), 2012

3. 5-8, Lexy Boschee, Glacier (Glacier, Mont.), 2012

7 tied at 5-7

**Current 2012 Leaders

1. 5-10.75, Williams

2. 5-10, Morrow

Long Jump

National Record: 21-7.5, Carol Lewis, Willingboro (Willingboro, N.J.), 1981

2011 Best: 20-1, Keilah Tyson, Western Branch (Chesapeake, Va.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 19-8.75, Kendell Williams, Kell (Marietta, Ga.), 2013

2. 19-5.5, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013

3. 19-2.5, Jordan Matthews, Abington (Abington, Pa.), 2012

3. 19-2.5, Sarah Bowens, Suffern (Suffern, N.Y.), 2012

5. 19-2, Shannen Rose-Forde, Dominion Christian (Marietta, Ga.), 2012

**Current 2012 Leader

1. 20-0.25, Shakeela Saunders, Nansemond River (Suffolk, Va.), 2012

Triple Jump

National Record: 44-6.75, Ke'Nyia Richardson, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2007

2011 Best: 42-3.5, Ciarra Brewer, James Logan (Union City, Calif.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 40-8, Jessica Caldwell, McDonogh (Owings Mill, Md.), 2012

2. 40-5.25, Sasha Wallace, Holy Names (Oakland, Calif.), 2013

3. 39-10.5, Jennifer Madu, Plano East (Plano, Texas), 2012

4. 39-8.5, Jasmine Todd, Chandler (Chandler, Ariz.), 2012

5. 39-7.25, Brianna Richardson, Rockwell-Heath (Heath, Texas), 2012

5. 39-7.25, Iana Amsterdam, Newark Tech (Newark, N.J.), 2013

**Current 2012 Leaders

1. 40-10, Carla Forbes, Newton North (Newtonville, Ma.), 2013

1. 40-10, Danielle Williams, Eaglecrest (Centennial, Colo.), 2012

Pole Vault

National Record: 14-2.5, Tori Anthony, Castilleja (Palo Alto, Calif.), 2007

2011 Best: 13-8.25, Morgann Leleux, Catholic (New Iberia, La.), 2011

2011 season best, name, school, class

1. 13-0, Megan Clark, Columbus (Columbus, Ga.), 2012

2. 12-10.25, Sydney White, East Forsyth (Kernersville, N.C.), 2012

3. 12-7, Jessie Johnson, Argyle (Argyle, Texas), 2012

3. 12-7, Larisa Debich, Hempfield (Landisville, Pa.), 2012

4. 12-6, Sydney Clute, Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 2012

**Current 2012 Leaders

1. 13-0, Johnson