BLOOMINGTON – JJ Gilmer got a taste of the State Finals Friday.
The Wawasee sophomore standout liked it so much he’s motivated to be back in the future.
Gilmer, despite dealing with shin splints, made his first trip to the big stage one to remember.
The Warrior high jumper sailed to a fourth-place finish in the 110th annual edition of the Boys Track and Field State Finals played out at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University.
Gilmer had to endure a long wait thanks to about a two-hour delay in the start of the high jump competition Friday due to heavy rains.
Once the skies cleared and the competition commenced, Gilmer proved to he belonged with the state’s best.
Gilmer cleared 6-6 to finish fourth in the field of 27 competitors. He was seeded sixth with a height of 6-6 after winning the Kokomo Regional championship last week.
“I’m pretty happy,” said Gilmer. “I was hoping to PR and go 6-8, but it’s okay. I’ve got two more years to come back.
“This motivates me. It was really awesome and cool to come down here and compete. I knew there were a couple of guys better than me, but it was good to see how they jump.
“I want to come back and win it. That means jumping year round and training a lot. I still have a lot to work on.”
Gilmer, whose personal best is 6-7, said the waiting didn’t bother him. He did admit that the shin splints, which he’s been dealing with since his freshman year, were an issue.
Eric Blackmon, the top seed, won the high jump state title with a top effort of 6-8 Friday. The Evansville Harrison senior came in with a seed jump of 6-09.50.
Clayton Cook also competed in the preliminaries of the 110 hurdles for the Warriors Friday.
Cook, also a sophomore, finished in 16th place in the prelims with a time of 15.16. He came in with a seed time of 15.05 after earning a second-place finish at the Kokomo Regional last week.