With her commitment to UMass Lowell in place heading into this season, Colbert and Darsney’s parents discussed having the senior captain avoid the high jump altogether rather than risk another injury.
“I think we were hesitant as coaches and parents,” Colbert said. “She was chomping at the bit. We had a debate among ourselves, asking, ‘Should we allow it?’ She’s also a top hurdler, but there was no way she’s wasn’t going to high jump. That’s just what she loves to do.”
Darsney attempted her first high jump in almost 11 months at Triton’s first preseason practice in November. She remembers her previous injury being at the forefront of her thoughts before she went over the bar for the first time.
“I was definitely nervous, but when we started practicing it, everyone was there supporting me,” Darsney said. “I had a really good community around me. I was OK with it.”
In a surprising turn of events, Darsney picked up right where she left off before her injury despite the 11-month layoff. She broke her own school record of 5-6 in the Vikings’ first meet against Newburyport, jumping 5-7. Heading into this weekend’s Elite Invitational, only Marshfield’s Ellen DePietro has posted a better result than Darsney this season.
Darsney’s return has also sparked Triton as a team. The Vikings (6-1) have already won five more meets than last year with three meets remaining on the schedule.
“We only won one meet last year, and now we’re 6-1 and contending,” Colbert said. “She’s a huge part of that. She has developed into such a leader. The work ethic she has, the girls just follow her around and follow her lead. We wouldn’t be where we are without what she’s doing as an athlete, but what she’s become as a leader is even more impressive.”