March 19, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 89  

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Jock Talk with high jumper

How were you feeling about the track and field nationals beforehand? I was really nervous actually — I’m not normally like that. It was just totally off-the-wall, and a lot of excitement.

What did you think of the competition there?
Totally surreal. It was a huge experience for sure, and it was almost more fun just being there watching everyone else than actually jumping (laughs).

How do you feel about your team’s performance?
We were awesome. There were a ton of [personal bests] that weekend; everyone performed well and I thought it was cool.

Were you confident going into the event?
I was confident — not necessarily confident that I was going to medal; I didn’t expect that at all. But I was confident in my ability to make my jumps and perform at the level that I know I can.

In the beginning of the season, was it intimidating competing as a rookie?
I honestly didn’t know what to expect. It was my first time ever getting into track and field at all, and I just thought it was so intense at first. It was very easy to adjust though. Everyone on the team made it a smooth transition for me.

What got you into high jump?
In high school it was kind of something to do in the spring. The high jump season was in between basketball and all the other sports, and I first thought it was just something to keep in shape.

Are you afraid of heights?
No (laughs).

How high can you “scissor?”
Not very high. It’s weird, I can actually scissor higher with an approach from the [side opposite the one] I normally take off on. I don’t know why that is, but either way I can’t scissor all that high.

What do you think of Western’s chances next season?
I think we’ll have a good shot. It’s great that we will have the relay team back again next year, and it also helps that [the University of] Windsor loses [runner] Ryan McKenzie. Of course, a lot is going to depend on how recruiting goes, but I still think we’ll have a solid chance.

What’s your favourite part about competing?
I love right before doing a jump, just getting so stoked about getting high. It’s the anticipation part of it that is awesome.

What celebrity would you like to jump over?
Hmmm, any and all of them.

Do you have any routines or pre-game rituals before a big meet? No, I just go out there and jump.

Who do you think would win in a fight: Robin Williams or Bill Cosby? I’ll go with Robin Williams, but it’s gotta be pre-Patch Adams (laughs).
—James Hayes



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