LAWRENCE, Kans. – Trey Tintinger did it again.
The Helena High sophomore, who set a new Montana state all-class record, as well as world record in the 14-year-old age division, with his 7 feet, 1.5 inch jump during the Class AA state meet in May, captured first place in the USA Track and Field Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships on Friday, though the morning’s results are considered unofficial until the meet is concluded.
Now competing in the 15-16 division, Tintinger entered Friday morning’s competition by clearing 1.90 meters (6 feet, 2.75 inches) on his first attempt. After skipping the next height, he soared over 2.00 meters (6 feet, 6.75 inches). Kansas City 16-year-old Caleb Furnell was the only other athlete in the age group to advance beyond 2.00 meters, guaranteeing Tintinger a top-two finish in the event.
But Furnell missed all three of his attempts at 2.05 meters (6 feet, 8.75 inches), guaranteeing Tintinger another Junior Olympic championship in the event. After missing his first two jumps at 2.10 meters (6 feet, 10.75 inches), Montana’s state champion cleared on his final try.
“Trey did extremely well making his return trip back to the Junior Olympics,” said Tintinger’s coach, Andrew Mozer. “This year he was able to compete with more poise and control that is only seen in mature athletes. It was also incredible to see how talented his age group was. All eight placers cleared roughly 6 feet, 3 inches and jumped higher than last year’s winner.”
Tintinger’s run at topping the Junior Olympic record of 2.15 meters (7 feet, one-half inch), set in 1992 by Georgia’s Eric Bishop, but he came up short after missing all three of his tries at 2.19 meters. The national record is held by Randall Cunningham Jr., who sailed over 2.16 meters in 2012.
“Trey was happy to win the national title but the goal for us was to try and clear 7 feet, 2 inches for a new personal best. Although we didn’t make it, Trey has more fire in him to do even better next time. From here, trey just needs to get health and rest. He has been doing track since mid-March after coming back from an injury and hasn’t had a chance to relax and recover.
“The most excitement for me going into next year is being able to coach a healthy Trey. Everything he has done is only made more incredible knowing that he had this success while recovering from injury. This year had so many modifications to his approach that it was changing almost every week and never made it to a point where he could utilize his speed. Some time away from high jump will help clear his head and he can look forward to pursuing his other passion with basketball. When next spring comes around, it is truly going to be a season to remember.”
Last July, Tintinger won gold in the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships, breaking the national record of 1.95 meters in the 13-14 division. Tintinger cleared 2.00 meters (6′ 6.75″) to win the event.