Before Sanaa Barnes won a state championship in the the girls high jump last weekend, she said she would dedicate her victory to two people who are very special to her.
“Being able to win state would be a great accomplishment,” the Trophy Club Nelson junior said. “I would dedicate it to my mom, who battled breast cancer and won, and to my brother, who passed away at birth.”
Barnes completed a jump of 5-10 at the regional meet, which was the high mark heading into the state competition, and hit 5-8 at state to win gold.
Barnes won a bronze medal at state in 2016 with a jump of 5-8, and said she knew she could go farther this year.
“It was an incredible feeling to be able to PR at 5-10,” Barnes said. “So now I know I can do more.” She said she couldn’t have done it, however, without the patience of her coaches.
Head girls track coach Miranda Wilson said that Barnes had an excellent regional meet this season and said she has come a long way in her track career.
“Her jump of 5-10 is her new personal record that she has been working toward since she was in middle school, where most girls are trying to clear 4-6,” Wilson said. “So I am so happy I was able to see her accomplish that. Our high jump coach, Sharon Mayo, has done such a good job with her technique over the bar, and Sanaa seemed to be well over 5-10.”
Wilson said that Barnes has had an excellent season and added that her accomplishments have come in spite of some pretty serious challenges.
“I admire her commitment to competing at the highest level in her two sports,” Wilson said. “She has overcome obstacles in her life with grace and determination. She tweaked her hamstring early this season which set back her running, and she competed in track meets right after competing in volleyball tournaments across the against the best teams in the nation.”
Barnes has already committed to play volleyball and run track at Villanova University in two years, and Wilson said she knew Barnes had a state championship in her.
“I definitely think if she keeps jumping the way she has recently and sets her mind to it, as she has with everything else she has wanted to accomplish, it will happen,” Wilson said before the state meet. “I know her mind is set on touching the sky.”
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