WJHS Track Star Competes in Nationals

Published 5:53 am Friday, March 18, 2022

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A West Jessamine High School track star competed last weekend in the prestigious New Balance National Indoor Championships.

New Balance championships introduce potential future Olympians because the best of the best competed at this meet in New York.

Lillian Hodge, a junior, qualified to compete in the Championships Division in pole vault and high jump, and in the Rising Stars Division in the Triple Jump.

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Her PR (personal record) for each event were achieved during this indoor season:
• Triple 36 feet 8 inches 2 in KY and 126th in US
• High jump: 5 feet 8 — 1 in KY and #5 in US
• Pole vault 12 feet — 2 in KY and 82 in US

“I was very excited to have had the opportunity to attend the New Balance Indoor National Championships. It is such an honor to have qualified and be among some of the most talented athletes in the country,” Hodge said.

Every track star sets goals, whether by the clock, distance jumped or height vaulted.

“My goals for the meet were to go out and put my best effort forward, and learn all that I can from the experience,” Hodge said.
Success is built on experience.

“This was a great experience for her,” WJHS Track Coach Jason Moncer said. “Although she did not get the results she was hoping for, it was definitely a great experience for her to build on. She is determined to go back again next year.”

Hodge’s father Max said though Lillian did not come close to any of her PR numbers, however, she was 10th in the Rising Star division of the triple jump, missing the jump off by just over an inch. The high jump she cleared just over 5 feet and did not place. Pole vault she did not clear the opening Height of just over 11 feet.

“It was a wonderful experience for Lilly and while she did not get the results she had hoped for she will take the lessons learned and improve. She is determined to come back and compete at nationals next year,” Hodge said.

A junior, Hodge was a full time gymnast until this year. Last year as a sophomore she qualified for the Class 3A State Championships in all four jumping events: long jump, triple jump, high jump, and pole vault. She placed 8th in the long jump, 5th in the triple jump, sixth in the pole vault, and was the State Champion in the high jump.

Last season was her first season working on any of the jumps except for pole vault, which she has been competing in since 6th Grade (she won the middle school State Championship in the vault in 7th grade).