Burlington Central senior girls track and field athlete Katie Trupp won Big Northern Conference indoor titles in the high jump and pole vault last season. It’s not yet certain whether she’ll try to capture a third event title as a senior, although Trupp’s beginner’s luck in the long jump bodes well. Competing in a Saturday meet at DeKalb, Trupp cleared 15 feet, 7 inches on her first career long jump attempt, breaking the school record set in 2005. For the latest edition of the Weekend chit-chat, Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley touched base with Trupp – a Southern Illinois recruit – on her feat and outlook for the coming season. The following is an edited transcript:
Talk about the transition to indoors now that you’ve been doing offseason club [the Plainfield-based Jump High Athletic Club].
I guess my season never really ended. … I just kind of got the whole pole vault experience and got to go to a lot of USATF meets. I high jumped and pole vaulted. I worked on a lot of my technique stuff this summer and hopefully, my high school coaches can really help me to meet my goals of jumping higher this season.
Has your jumping career felt at all like a whirlwind?
I started high jumping in seventh grade and my freshman year, my old gymnastics coach [at Spring Hill in Elgin] was also a pole vaulter, so I’ve been doing pole vault since freshman year, so it’s been a big part of my background. ... Freshman year, I was jumping 5-4, and then pole vaulting side I was new, it was pretty low. Sophomore year, I high jumped 5-6 and went 11-6 in pole vault at state. I broke my foot hurdling at the conference meet my junior year, so I’m hoping for 5-8 jumping and 12 to 12-6 at state in vault this year as a senior.
Given the injury, when did you join Jump High?
Maybe in the middle of the summer. I started pretty late. There was no urgency to go [harder]. there are a couple of meets I want dot compete in through USATF that I wanted to get to. I competed in pole vault nationals with AAU, so that was pretty cool. but my foot is fine now.
What led you to commit to Southern Illinois?
I visited there a couple weeks ago. ... That was really exciting. I really like the campus and I really like the education program because I’m going into early childhood [education]. All the coaches and teammates were really great when I visited a few times. I’m really exited to be part of their team next year. .. There were a lot of great places that I considered, like [Illinois State] and Nebraska. I just felt at home at SIU.
The Salukis would have no reason to think twice now with your recent long jump.
That was definitely an experiment. My coach [Vince Neil], he was just trying us out everywhere. I looked at the list of entries and he put me at long jump, and I’m like, ‘Coach, about this long jump – I’ve never really done it before.’ They put me through some of the basics and it was actually pretty simplistic. … I think I’m going to practice it more and try going for the outdoor record this year. That would be cool.
How about long jumping in the longterm?
I’m not really sure because it was such big leap of an experience. I’m not really sure what to think of it yet. ... My coach said he might try to have me do it for the bigger meets and maybe to try to qualify.