Berwick's Sampey is eying success on Sat.
From Staff Reports
Berwick had one member of its track teams qualify for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A track meet Saturday at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track and Field complex in Baton Rouge.
Sophomore Kennedy Sampey finished second in the pole vault with a leap of 10 feet to qualify for state.
“Kennedy’s hard work has paid off,” BHS track coach Paul Gilder said. “She has to travel to New Iberia to train every day. Pole vaulting is a huge deal; it takes tons of practice. The Berwick family is very proud of her.”
Sampey’s regional mark ranks her third in Class 3A heading into state. Jennings’ Addison Martinez has the top leap at 11 feet.
Sampey followed her older sister into the sport, which is still fairly new to this area.
“My sister started vaulting, and it looked like fun, so I tried it,” Sampey said. “Once I got into it, I enjoyed it, and I started to (get) better and better.”
She jumped over 6 feet as a freshman before climbing to over 8 feet and now 10 feet.
“Ten feet is a magical number for girls’ pole vaulting,” Gilder said. “She put herself into good company when she reached that milestone.”
That milestone is the result of individual coaching and year-round training.
“We train all year at the gym in New Iberia,” she said. “There’s a lot of hard work involved, but I love it and hope to continue it past high school.”
Sampey finished a little more than half a foot behind the top qualifier, who jumped 10-6 at regionals. But Sampey’s personal best was good enough for a BHS school record and bested her own record of 9 feet, which she set earlier this year at the John Melvin Relays.
“I’m extremely happy that I’m jumping my best now,” she said. “Anytime you better (your) PR (personal record), it’s great, but going into the state meet, it’s very exciting.”
Even though Sampey is the Berwick’s lone representative, she won’t be alone.
“My family will be there cheering for me, and I hope my grandparents will make it too,” she said.