TOLEDO (WTVG) - Mariah Hopings has a solid base of confidence going into the 2019 high school outdoor track and field season. The senior won the Ohio Division I indoor triple jump state championship in February.
The triple jump is not an event where Ohio prep athletes compete at during June's outdoor state championship at Jesse Owens Stadium, but Hopings is also a long and high jumper along with running the hurdles and relay events.
So how much time did this multi-event, basketball player put into her triple jump prep last month?
"I went to a meet just to qualify for states," Hopings said. "I qualified and I had about a week to practice because our season ended literally a week before."
That's right. Hopings showed up to the meet with very little jump practice as she was busy with Whitmer's basketball team since that is considered the in-season sport.
"She was really consistent that day," Whitmer head coach Reis Baidel said. "She is a hard worker you know it was tough working around the basketball schedule and getting triple jump in."
In one way, good timing for the hoops season to end a week before the state indoor track and field meet. It was a chance at redemption for Hopings as she broke her wrist late in the 2018 outdoor season.
"I was practicing for hurdles," Hopings said. "I was actually going faster than usual and I got to my last hurdle and I hit it and I stumbled and I couldn't stop myself and I landed on my wrist and broke it in two different places and had to have surgery immediately."
The break came at a bad time as the track and field postseason was about to begin.
"To get injured right before districts and not be able to compete the rest of the year, so my first thing was I was happy for her," Baidel said. "It is something that she definitely deserves. It sets her up to do good things outdoors.
"It also sets her up for us. It's great. She's a leader on the team, the girls look up to her. She practices hard so to have a state champion, someone of that caliber on our team, it really helps our girls and the younger girls to look up to someone and mimic what she does."