When Coppell senior Megan Judd took flight in the high jump at the Coppell Relays on March 4, her mindset was to have fun.
After all, it was the second-to-last home meet of her high-school career – Coppell will host the 5-6A area meet on April 20-21 at Buddy Echols Field. But if Judd were to set any personal records that day, it would have been made her day.
Judd did just that, clearing the bar at 5-8 to tie the school record held by her and Coppell senior Sky Schuller. However, Judd wasn’t done just yet. She wanted to break the school record. And on her third attempt at 5-9, Judd did just that.
It was one of three first-place finishes on the day for Judd. In her addition to her win in the high jump, Judd won the long jump with a leap of 17-5, and teamed with Emma Williams, Keely Saravanakumar and Sedem Buatsi to capture first place in the girls 4x100-meter relay in a time of 48.34.
Judd is hopeful that big day on her home track is a sign of big things to come. She seeks her first appearance in the Class 6A state track and field championships on May 12-13 in Austin. Judd is fresh off earning a pair of fourth-place finishes in the high jump and long jump in the Region I-6A meet last season.
But well before Judd was a standout performer in track and field, she was a multi-year performer in another sport.
For eight years, Judd competed in gymnastics for Texas Dreams Gymnastics – a sport that has translated well to the track for her. But Judd’s focus these days is on track and field. Her career, however, won’t be over after this spring as she will compete for Dartmouth College, starting this fall.
But for now, Judd is looking to cap off her senior season in style, and she is doing so along with Schuller, who is one of Judd’s best friends.
In this week’s Star Local Media student-athlete profile, Judd chats about setting the school record in the high jump, her friendship with Schuller, what she likes about jumping events and what she liked about Dartmouth College.
SLM: Congrats on setting the school record in the high jump. Take me through that performance.
MJ: I won with 5-8 and I knew that I wanted to go up to 5-9. I missed the first two attempts, but I wasn't stressing. I was just really excited to have this opportunity at our home meet to show what I can do. On my last attempt, I was just thinking, 'Let's just do this. It is all or nothing. It's the best opportunity that you're ever going to have.' I did it, and I was super excited. I was just really excited.
SLM: You seem like you have a lot of fun competing. What is your approach to handling multiple events at every track and field meet?
MJ: The thing is that I used to be really stressed and be negative about it. I would cry after every meet if I wasn't doing as well as I should be. I just decided that it's a waste of energy if I don't have the right mindset. It's just more enjoyable if you're not super stressed out.
SLM: How great is your friendship with Sky Schuller?
MJ: There has never been any animosity in our friendship. There has never been any kind of, 'I'm better than you.' There is a lot of encouragement and support. We just drive each other for the best that we can be.
SLM: Last year, you watched the state track and field meet. How much has that motivated you for this year to try and make state?
MJ: It just really solidified my mindset that missing state is not an option anymore. I will make it to state this year. That's my ultimate goal. It makes me nervous because it is a big track and there is a lot of good competition there, but it also makes me feel like that I can go down there and compete against those people and having a lot of success.
SLM: What is your background in gymnastics?
MJ: I was at an elite level for a while. I started at Texas Dreams Gymnastics and was there for eight years. The one thing that I took away from it was discipline. It was a rigorous sport. The thing that it taught me is that if you want the results, you have to put in the work. It formed my mindset as an athlete.
SLM: What do you like about the long jump and high jump?
MJ: I just like the way that you have multiple attempts at jumps. Also, it's just like a high because you're clearing the bar instead of running a PR. It's a different kind of feeling.
SLM: What sold you on Dartmouth College?
MJ: I really liked how close the team was. The coach was really nice and I felt like I can build a relationship with him. I also thought it was really pretty up there. That was something that made me decide that I want to go there.
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