BYFIELD — One year removed from a shoulder injury that nearly ended her high jumping career, Triton senior Kerstin Darsney has re-emerged this season as one of the top high jumpers in the nation.
Darsney recently recorded one of the best jumps in the country when she cleared 5 feet, 8 inches to take first place at the Division III State Championships; and after a strong performance at this weekend’s All-State Meet, she will now be headed to New York City to compete at the New Balance National Championship meet.
“It was definitely a goal in mind,” Darsney said of clearing 5-8 and going to Nationals. “I actually had it written on a white board in my home, I had it as a goal of getting 5-8, so getting that and being in the top 10 was a really big goal that I accomplished.”
Though nobody doubted that Darsney had the ability to become one of the nation’s best high jumpers, most weren’t sure what to expect after she missed nearly a year of action due to injury.
During a meet against Hamilton-Wenham last January, Darsney fell awkwardly on her arm and aggravated a pre-existing shoulder injury, forcing her to miss the remainder of the season.
Darsney was able to compete in the hurdles during the spring season, and once the indoor season came around again this year, there was some initial trepidation over whether she should jump and risk injury again, or just focus on hurdling.
“She was coming back from a pretty serious injury so you never know how a kid is going to respond,” said Triton coach Joe Colbert. “But when she jumped 5-7 in her first meet of the winter season, then we knew she was going big places.”
By clearing 5-8, Colbert said Darsney put herself in a tie for the third best jump in the country. Darsney said the top jump was 5-10, then there were a couple of people tied for second at 5-8 3/4, and then a few who had jumped 5-8, herself included.