Two-time defending Class 5A triple jump champion Connor Turnage from Highlands Ranch leapt 47 feet, 1.5 inches to win the event at the April 25-26 Liberty Bell Invitational.
Turnage also finished second behind teammate Ben Morgan in the long jump with a 22-6 effort. Morgan’s best leap was 22-6.25.
“It’s not exactly where I want to be right now but it’s better than I have been in the past few weeks,” said Turnage who will compete next year for the University of Nebraska. “By the end of the year I’ll be there. I’m not at the place where I could win state right now but I think I can win.
“It seems like at the beginning of the season when you are lifting pretty heavy you don’t expect to go too far. At the end of the season you want to be two feet farther than you were last year.”
As a sophomore, Turnage was first at the state meet with consecutive leaps totaling 47-3.5. He defended his state title a year ago with combined jumps of 48-8.5.
The 47-1.5 at the Liberty Bell was the best effort reported this season for the Falcon.
“I’m going to work these next few weeks and try to get better,” Turnage said. “The triple jump is my best event. I really like long jump too and I like to consider myself a contender in long jump too.
“The triple jump is really technical so you have to have good form and if you a pretty strong you do pretty well in the event. If you don’t have good form, you can get hurt pretty easily. You just rob yourself of feet and inches. Yeah, a three-peat is a goal in the triple jump and I would definitely want to win the long jump too.”