COVINGTON — Eastside’s Daniel Oduah won the high jump at the GHSA Class AAAA track and field with a jump of 6-feet, 6-inches without practicing the event between the region and the state meet.
It’s not that he didn’t want to work on his technique, it’s just that he wasn’t able to do so which is nothing new considering that he hasn’t practiced all season.
“Everybody that we competed against always ask what do we do in practice. I tell them we don’t practice it (high jump), we don’t have a high jump area,” Eastside boys head coach Frankey Iverson said. “They find that unbelievable.”
“Basically, I practice at the meet’s but whenever I jump it’s always the real deal. I guess practice is showtime,” Oduah said. “To me, I always put pressure on myself but (Iverson) always goes out there and tells me to do what I do and just jump. Once I get in the air the pressure goes away.”
Oduah’s first jump of the season was also one of his best jump of the year clearing the 6-8 bar. Even though that’s a height he’s cleared twice, that’s nothing as to what his coach thinks Oduah is capable to jumping. The Eastside coach has been told that with proper practice he can break the 7-foot mark.
“There are always little nuances and techniques that he needs to work on but we can’t do that. Every time we have a meet, that’s his practice. We try we work on those things during meet-practice but we only get so many attempts. People are always saying that he’s a 7-foot jumper but he can still get 6-8 and we don’t practice,” Iverson said. “I know he’s athletic and I know what he can do. That first meet when we started him off at 5-4 and he was way over the bar. He jumped 6-8 at that first meet so I knew he was capable of jumping 6-8. In our classification I knew that 6-8 would be first place.”
Besides jumping, Oduah is also participates in running events. He finished fifth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.67 seconds and ran the first leg of the 4x400 relay team. The team finished in second place crossing the finish line in 3:17.58.
As a team, the Eagles finished in sixth place in a big part to Oduah’s efforts.
“He played a big part in that. He gave us 10 points in the high jump, four points from the 400 and he was part of the relay,” Iverson said. “Of the 33 team points we got, he got 14 points plus the two from the relay. He had 16 points out of 33, that’s almost half.”
Oduah will be attending Albany State where he hopes to improve his skills enough to someday participate in the Olympics.