DES MOINES — Everything about the jump felt perfect to Mount Ayr senior Braydee Poore.
And it looked perfect, too, as Poore sailed over the bar at 6-8 on his first attempt at the height during Thursday’s high school boys high jump competition at the Drake Relays.
And then came the collective gasp from the crowd as the bar came floating down off the standards, following Poore to the mat.
“I didn’t even feel it. At all,” Poore said about the bar. “Everything went routinely. Coach told me I was starting to snap my back — I wasn’t holding my arc long enough. So, I held it really long, came down and I didn’t even feel it. It just came down. I don’t know how.
“Everything (felt perfect),” he continued. “I exploded, got good height. I need to see it on video to see what actually happened.”
What seemed like the perfect jump would have given Poore a new career best, and made him the leader in the competition.
Instead, Poore took two more attempts at the height, once again just barely missing on his second attempt before running out of steam on his third attempt.
West Burlington Notre Dame’s Jeff Giannettino barely cleared the bar on his final attempt at 6-8 to earn the win.
Poore, meanwhile, finished third based on number of misses with Johnston sophomore Jared Seay taking second.
Had Poore cleared at 6-8, he had fewer misses than Giannettino and would have won the Drake Relays crown if both bowed out at 6-9, which Giannettino did.
“I was really coming in with pretty high goals,” Poore said. “I knew that (Giannettino) was going to be tough competition, and I knew it was going to take 6-8, 6-7 to get the win. Once I cleared 6-7, I was feeling very confident, but I can’t hang my head too much.”
Consistency pays off
For Poore, who finished second at last year’s Drake Relays, clearing 6-5, under very similar circumstances, the biggest takeaway from the competition is his consistency.
“He’s been able to get through 6-6 and 6-7 here,” head coach Brad Elliott said. “It’s a pretty standard thing for him now. A lot of these big meets you go to, and we just came here from the KU Relays last week, Braydee’s shown he’s a really consistent jumper. As long as he has the fewest amount of misses, that keeps him in the hunt right there in the final heights.”
Poore had only one miss through clearing 6-7, missing his first attempt at the height and clearing on his second attempt as the bar wobbled violently on the standards, but did not fall.
As he begins to prepare for the Class 2A state high jump competition in one month’s time, which will likely include Giannettino and several other Drake Relays participants, Poore knows continuing to do that will serve him well.
“Just try to clear all the heights I can without missing. That’s going to be huge,” he said. “If I can make it up to 6-8 without any misses, that will set me up pretty good, because a lot of those kids were clanking it at every height. He just got lucky and made that last one. Clear every height without missing, that’ll be good.”
It’s a familiar spot for Poore to be in, having the fewest misses at the final height, Elliott said.
“Last year at the Drake Relays, same situation as far as fewest amount of misses at the final height,” Elliott said. “His consistency has put him in a spot where it’s a make or break situation. When you get to these heights, that’s going to win meets for him and sometimes you’re going to lose meets on those, too. You’ve got to get over the bar at the end of the day.
“To get to that final height as flawlessly as possible, it’s very unique to Braydee Poore,” he continued. “I haven’t seen many jumpers, as a coach seeing jumpers from other communities, Braydee has a rare attribute there, and it’s going to pay off for him soon.”
Now, it just comes down to Elliott and Poore fine-tuning and perfecting a few minor things in order to help Poore get over the 6-8 mark.
“These were the best conditions I’ve had all year to jump,” Poore said. “I jumped my PR, I was just going for 6-8, my personal best and didn’t get it done. I’ve got another shot at it. Hopefully I can get it at state.”
Elliott said Poore clearing 6-7 on Thursday proves that 6-7 is a part of his “standard toolbox” and that the next step is fine-tuning in order to get 6-8.
“That’s kind of been the jump that’s got away from him here,” Elliott said. “We’ve had that one on the line now four times. He’s done a really good job at that first attempt, and that seems to be where it is. We’ve just got one little timing issue on it. Those are some things he’s obviously gaining some experience, and it’s just a matter of time at this point.”