Southmoreland’s track team left Freeport suffering defeat in their first playoff meet, losing by the narrowest of margins, 76-74. However, one member of the girls track team left the meet feeling great pride. That girl was senior Kaitlyn Walch.
“Even though we lost, I was proud of the improvement our team had this year,” said Walch. “And I was very proud of myself for finally achieving my goal of breaking the long jump record.”`
At the meet, held May 2, Walch broke the 16 ft 9 ¾ in record for long jump that was set by Dee Waters. That record was set the same year Walch was born. Walch broke the record by jumping a 17 ft 1 in at Freeport. When it was announced, her teammates Amelia Echard and Madison Cowan rushed to hug Walch with excitement because they knew Southmoreland history had just been made.
“It’s such an indescribable feeling,” said Walch. “It means a lot to me because I’ve been striving to do accomplish this for such a long time and I’ve jumped 17’s in practice but never it in meet before. It’s so different to be able to do it when it actually counts.”
As a freshman jumping 15 ft 10 in, Walch set the goal of breaking the long jump record for herself. She was determined to do it and believed that “one day” she could.
“When I set the goal for myself,” said Walch. “I knew I could do it and worked for it ever since.”
Head coach Dave Keefer was excited upon learning of Walch’s record.
“I was so pumped when I heard she broke the record,” said Keefer. “I was just so excited for her because she works so hard at practice and has been dedicated to improving these past 4 years.”
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