Kent's last leap her best as she earns silver medal in triple jump, shatters Alexandria school record
Alexandria's Hailie Kent had one more chance to fulfill her season-long goal of breaking Kaye Paschka's triple jump record, and on her last try of the season she got it.
Since the start of the season, Alexandria junior Hailie Kent had her sights set on breaking the school’s triple jump record set by Kaye Paschka in 2018. On her last jump of the season, she knocked off her long-time friend to win second place at the Class AA state meet.
Kent’s 37-foot, 6-inch jump broke the previous record by six inches. But, before she stepped up to the starting line, she thought about what it meant to have her name next to that record.
“I just kind of put it all out there,” Kent said. “Kaye had the school record, and she’s one of my friends. I was kind of gunning for her, honestly. I love her, but that’s what I was picturing when I went up there, and it worked.”
In Kent’s first three attempts, she barely made it over 36-feet twice and fouled once. But she saved her best for last, which led to her jumping up six spots in the standings– trailing only Prior Lake’s Samantha Barrett, who won at a length of 39-feet, 6.25-inches.
Kent competed in the last event of a long day for coaches Mike Empting and Meghan Orgeman. When they saw her record-breaking jump, they were just as excited as she was.
“It’s really cool to see your coaches be excited for you like that,” Kent said. “Just to know that they’re there watching me at that moment makes me feel supported. They’ve put together such a great program.”
Prior to Saturday’s state meet, Kent’s personal record in the triple jump was 36-feet, 9-inches. That mark was set in the Section 8AA qualifying meet, where she finished first to earn a spot at a state.
When Kent finished her final attempt, she made the long walk to the awards tent at the 50-yard line of the St. Michael-Albertville football field. It was there where she got to step on the second-highest spot on the podium– looking out towards friends and family.
“It honestly doesn’t feel like it even happened,” Kent said. “It’s just really cool. Hopefully, I can come back next year and do it again. It was an amazing feeling to be up there. I want to do it again.”