Track and field: East Aurora grad Taylor ties WIU school recordSunday, April 29 2012 - Beacon-News Invitational - Jamario Taylor
Track and field: East Aurora grad Taylor ties WIU school record
By Rick Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org April 28, 2012 5:48PM
East Aurora graduate Jamario Taylor, a junior at Western Illinois University, tied a school record last week when he cleared 7 feet, one-half inch in the high jump. | Photo courtesy of Western Illinois University
Updated: April 29, 2012 2:42AM
Jamario Taylor still soars through the air with the greatest of ease. He might want to continue to work on those landings, though.
Taylor, a junior at Western Illinois University, tied a school record last week when he cleared 7 feet, one-half inch to take second place in the SIU Gateway Classic in Edwardsville. Dave Stoermer set that Leathernecks’ mark back in 1977.
“It tied the school record but more importantly, it was the 26th best high jump in the nation this (outdoor) season and it qualified me for the NCAA Regional as well,” Taylor said. “If I can finish in the top 12 at the regional (May 24-26 in Austin, Texas), I could qualify for the nationals at Drake (in Des Moines, Iowa, June 6-9).”
The former East Aurora standout did it with his broken right hand and wrist still in a brace.
“I broke my hand pretty bad playing basketball,” Taylor said. “I had surgery last month. They had to put a metal plate and six screws in to put me back together.”
His jumping was never better.
Taylor cleared 7 feet as a high school senior to win the state title then followed it up that summer, clearing the same height to win the national AAU Junior Olympic title. He went on to Western, paid with a partial athletic scholarship and partial academic scholarship.
He thought he might make the NCAA regional last year.
“I cleared 7-0¼ two times during the indoor season,” he said. “But I had a foot injury late in the outdoor season and they sent me home to rest it rather than compete at the Summit League outdoor meet. I had a bruised bone and sprained ligament in my (left) plant foot.”
Continued hard work is paying off this season for Taylor, whose personal best last week is the top jump in the Summit League this season. He competes Sunday at home in Western’s Twilight Invitational — which was moved from Saturday due to expected bad weather — and May 10-12 at the conference championships at North Dakota State.
“I have the height to get 7-3 or 7-4,” Taylor said. “It’s just little technique issues that are keeping me from clearing those heights. Either my heel clips the bar or I’m catching it with my leg on the way down. Hopefully, I can do that height this year. This will be my first regional and I’d really like to make it to the national meet.”
Here’s hoping he keeps climbing his personal ladder, while making soft landings.