GREENSBORO, N.C. - Marshay Ryan has added yet another honor to her resumé, earning second overall at the National Federation of State High School Associations track and field championships Friday.
In just one jump, Ryan exceeded her goal by jumping 42-3.75 and earning the second place spot.
"I was shocked and ecstatic; I was smiling from ear to ear," Ryan said. "I had never felt that happy about an event in track ever. I was so proud and thankful for the opportunity to even get that far."
Ryan's previous career best was 40-5, which she jumped at the Mid Penn Invitational May 13. But Ryan surpassed that mark three times Friday on her way to her career best.
She started her preliminary series with jumps of 41-2 and 41-10 before hitting the 42-3.75 mark.
"It was a great series. I'm a big believer in you want to get off to a good start, and she did that," Chambersburg jump coach Bob Walker said. "Once she got off to that good start, she was certainly able to thrive off the competition. It brings out the best in her."
Having only started the triple jump this season, Ryan already has a district and state title under her belt, and she still has a lot of time to add to that.
"I want to jump 43 feet and try to jump close to 44," Ryan said. "Anything's possible."
Ryan said her goal for this season was to jump 41 feet, but with the bright lights on her, she knew she could jump even farther.
"I knew I could jump far, and I'm pretty competitive," she said.
Although some people can fold under that kind of pressure, Walker said Ryan enjoyed the crowd.
"Some kids don't handle that pressure, but it just brought the best out of Marshay," Walker said. "She thought it was a lot of fun having that focus from the crowd."
Walker said after he saw Ryan's jump, he knew it was far, but he was anxious to see what numbers were posted on the performance board. When the final numbers came up, he said he was out of his seat.
"I was having trouble texting because my hands were shaking," Walker said. "I was just so excited."
During the offseason, Walker said he wants to put Ryan on a weight lifting program. Because she was just a junior and only began the triple jump this year, Ryan has not been on a consistent strength program, which Walker would like to change during the summer.
Walker also said there is some room for improvement in terms of the technical aspects of the event.
"There are a few things she could clean up with her phases, but she's already made a lot of improvement," Walker said. "I was watching some of her jumps today and noticed that she does kind of reach for the sand instead of letting the sand come to her. But she let the sand come to her today, so she had nice improvement in that last phase today."
In addition to her offseason training, Ryan plays basketball for the Trojans and will participate in the indoor track next year, both of which she thinks will help her continue on a path of success.