On the way to the top -- Leap of faith for Lawrence

The Record
January 2003

Tim Lawrence made his high jumping debut for West Milford in the Highlander Dual meets at the Armory two weeks ago. It wasn't impressive as the junior cleared only 5 feet, 2 inches.

Saturday, in the third high jump competition of his career, Lawrence cleared a height a foot higher to win the Northern Hills Conference competition and help the Highlanders tie for second in the boys meet.

"I have no clue how I've gotten that much better this fast," said Lawrence, who competed in track for the first time last spring and was a 19-foot long jumper and a member of the Highlander shuttle hurdles relay. "I just take five steps back from the bar and go."

Lawrence's quick improvement comes as no real surprise to West Milford coach Scott Copperman, although he does admit that the 6-2 clearance was a shock.

"I thought when we started with him, he could clear 6 feet this season," said Copperman, whose team was second in the meet for the fifth straight year. "He's got a very springy step and he's a good athlete who's very explosive and that's perfect for the high jump. Now I think he's got a very good chance of making 6-4 this season."

Jesse Mizzone broke her own barrier in the girls' meet with the best day of her track career, setting personal bests -- indoors or outdoors -- in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. The highlight was a meet-record 10:59.11 clocking in the 3,200, the first time she has broken 11 minutes.

"I wasn't really thinking about breaking 11 minutes today," said Mizzone. "It's always been there for me to get it but I kept coming close but missing it."

When she passed the midway point in 5:34, she thought she had a chance and stepped up the pace.

"I saw the clock and knew I felt good so I started picking it up. Now that I've broken 11, I can point to a new goal," said Mizzone, who ran 5:11.76 in winning the 1,600.

Rebecca Baskinger of Butler shook off nagging leg injuries to win three events and almost single-handedly lift the Bulldogs into a third-place tie in the girls' meet with Wayne Valley, behind winner West Orange and Montville.

Baskinger ran a personal best of 8.71 seconds in easily winning the 55 hurdles, won the 55 dash in 7.68, and cleared 5-2 in the high jump before stopping.

"I had some really bad pains from the ankle all the way up to my hip [Friday] night," said Baskinger, whose 5-7 clearance last Monday was one of the best in the nation this season. "I just try to block out the pain when I'm competing."
Paul Schwartz Copyright c. 2003 All rights reserved.
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