Jake Coplin has come a long way in the long jump.
It is no surprise given the opportunities the Granville Christian junior now has to practice his craft. Coplin is improving by leaps and bounds after not picking up the long jump until the middle of the 2014 season.
Coplin jumped 19-feet-2.5 on Monday to win a quad meet at Newark Catholic. The previous week he jumped 19-1 to win at NC.
The consistency as he knocks on the door of 20 feet came from consistent practice time. The Lions practice at Newark’s Evans Athletic Complex each evening following Newark High School practices.
“It’s pretty nice,” Coplin said. “I have a little more experience. I am a little more organized. I can get my steps down a lot better before I try to jump.”
Coplin, who also runs the 100 and 200, and teammate Jeffrey Yohman should be well-positioned to fight for titles in the upcoming Mid-Ohio Christian Athletic Conference meet May 12 at Madison Christian. The Division III district meet follows the next week at Whitehall.
Yohman is the energizer bunny for the Lions. He routinely pulls off the hardest triple in the sport, running the 1,600, 800 and 3,200.
On April 20, he matched up with Lakewood’s Chris Briggs and Fairfield Christian’s Jacob Thompson in the 1,600. The trio battled for the lead throughout with Yohman finishing just behind Briggs for second place.
“They push me,” said Yohman, who finished with a time of 4:49 and reached his goal for the day. “I know a lot of the guys I was running against, so it was nice. We have been forming my workouts around where I really need it, and I think I am definitely seeing a difference as we go on.”
Yohman reached the regional cross country meet this past fall, and that accomplishment has given him a shot of momentum. Many of those same competitors will line up next to him on the track during the upcoming postseason.
“In track, I was so close to making it to regionals in the (800), and I wanted it so badly in the fall,” Yohman said. “It definitely gave me a lot of confidence.”
Coplin would like to make a run at advancing in the postseason, too. The Lions sent Lauren Keiser to the 2014 state meet in the program’s first year of competition, so it has others dreaming big.
“It’s nice to come from such a small school and be able to get people to go to state meets and get recognition for our school,” Coplin said. “It lets people know that we are not just some small school that can’t do anything.”
This past Monday’s meet was a chance for some of the younger Lions to shine. Freshman Owen Adkins won the 1,600 (5:58.6) and 800 (2:46.0). Junior Aaron States took the title in the 400 (59.7), and sophomore Nathan Holt matched him in the 300 hurdles (59.7). The Lions also won the 1,600 relay (4:39.3).
The GCA girls had success, too. Winners were sophomore Ally Slater in the 400 (1:10.1), sophomore Joy Brower in the 1,600 (6:37.8) and the 800 relay (2:16.3).