OBSERVER Staff Report
MIDDLETOWN - Matt Civilette's bid for a State title in the triple jump ended in disappointment Saturday as the Fredonia junior committed three fouls and couldn't record a distance in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Division 2 Track & Field Championships at Middletown High School.
Civilette was one of two jumpers who failed to record a distance in the event.
"He prepared for it well and he just prepared too much," Ball said. "With each jump we gave him a little more room and he kept increasing his speed. His timing was about two or three inches over the board for his takeoff. He kept increasing his speed going down the runway. As a competitior, your heartbeat goes more and rises to the occasion but it can work against you. It did today.
"He was really up for it," Ball continued. "He said his legs felt good. In track, we call it a classic case of going after it too much."
The event was originally slated for Friday afternoon but rain forced the two-day event to be condensed into one day. As a result, each competitor lost a jump.
"We knew what the correction needed to be and wish we could have had that one more jump," Ball said. "That fourth jump would have made the difference. We did well at the warm-up."
Civilette could draw inspiration from his fellow classmates to make a run at next year's State meet.
"He's a junior," Ball said. "Like our baseball team last year, they had a disappointing season at the end and they just won a State championship. Hopefully this motivates him even more this year and we have to use it to our advantage next year.
"Once we talked about it and put everything into perspective, he's won a Section 6 championship and done a lot of great things this year. He had a terrific season. He wasn't expected to go this far."
Next season's goal will be to make it to States in both the long and triple jump. Civilette finished 11th in the long jump at the Section 6 Championships last weekend.
He qualified for States by winning the triple jump with a career and personal best of 44 feet at Pioneer High School.
"That's going to be another one of his goals," Ball said. "Sometimes you have some growing pains and we hope this will make him a better jumper for the future. We're extremely proud of him and we think he's going to do some great things this year."