Memorial's Claire Bryant Is Ready For Championship Season


Houston Memorial sophomore Claire Bryant is ready for the championship season.

Who?

For those who don't know the youngster, let me introduce you to her. Bryant is fairly young, but she is not new to the sport, "I started track in 5th grade just for fun'" she said. Since then, her premiere event has become the long jump.

Although she has yet to complete her second high school season, she has been performing like a veteran all season long. She began her season with a 18-5 win at the Will Taylor Relays. She then reeled off five consecutive meets where she would improve meet after meet. That streak didn't end until she found herself with a 20-2 PR at the Victor Lopez Classic.

As far as the 20 footer, Bryant said, "It was my second jump in the series so I wasn't super hype or anything I was just focused. My run felt on point, really good penultimate and takeoff, and when I landed in the sand I knew it was a good jump, but not a 20! When I heard the official say "twenty feet, two inches," I flipped out. I was so excited to reach my 20 foot goal so early in my season."


Bryant then took her talents to the big stage at the Texas Relays. While her improvement streak would end as would her season long win streak, she still came away with a big time placement. Bryant took second place overall with only the All-World jumper and four-time 5A state champ Jasmine Moore being able to out jump her on the day.

The big stage was unable to shake or rattle the Houston Memorial star, in fact she reveled in it. "Going to big meets helps acclimate me to bigger meets to come. I really enjoy those meets too because there's so much talent and competition surrounding you which is awesome."

Despite her youth, Bryant is aware that the success she has earned thus far isn't good enough. She still knows where she needs to improve at and she is working on getting better everyday. "Well, I tend to be a little impatient in my jumping so we focus on feeling every "step" of my jump. I needed to drive my knee before opening up and rotating my legs for the extension. Another big change has been my approach. I really focus on pushing out the back half of my run and then quickening the cadency of my run."

Now that all of the fun and no consequence meets for the season are done and out of the way, things are down to the brass task. That means the only fun remaining is in qualifying and moving on.

Bryant was able to do exactly that at her district meet. She had quite the day at the 15-6A district track and field meet. She took the win in the long jump with a 19-3 best during the competition.

However, she wasn't done. With all of the talk being about the long jump, let's not sell her short and limit her to just the one event. She is a complete jumper and gets in the mix in both the triple and high jump as well.
 
The district success also came in both events at district. She jumped a PR in the high jump with a 5-8 en route to the district win that followed a third place finish at Texas Relays. She then jumped and then a 36-9 in the triple jump good enough for second and qualifying her for her third event heading into the Area meet.


So, which event is her favorite?

"I get this question a lot, usually I like whatever one I'm doing the best in at that time, but I would say long jump probably comes the easiest," Bryant said.

Although, she is having a good season, it's not over just yet. It's actually just beginning. Last year, she made it to the Region 2-6A meet in all three jumps. She came out with fourth place finishes in both the high jump and triple jump and a sixth place finish in the long jump.

If she is to make this season count and take another step to the next level of being elite, she will have to continue to improve her distances and a trip to state would definitely help. Bryant is completely aware of this. "Its honestly such an honor to be part of the 20 foot club and now I want to focus on consistently hitting high 19s and 20. And, of course, extending my PR is also a goal." 

If the district meet is any indication, Bryant is clearly ready for championship season.
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