Girls Track & Field: Jumping group leaps forward for Olentangy Liberty Patriots

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Liberty's Taylor Weiss competes in the high jump during the Berlin Invitational on April 9. Weiss and Camryn Thompson give the Patriots two strong competitors in the event.

Despite some bumps in the road, Taylor Weiss and Camryn Thompson have helped lift the Olentangy Liberty girls track and field team this spring with their growth in the high jump. 

Nicole Tonetti also has the Patriots jumping toward success with the Division I postseason approaching.

While Tonetti’s success in the long jump as well as in sprinting events might have been more expected after she competed at state in the 800-meter relay as a freshman and was a regional qualifier in the long jump as a sophomore in 2019, the success enjoyed by Weiss and Thompson might not have been as predictable. 

Weiss, a senior, didn’t begin competing in the high jump until her freshman year. She advanced to the regional as a sophomore and then lost the momentum she was hoping to build in the event when last season was canceled. 

Thompson, a sophomore, gained limited experience in the high jump in eighth grade before losing her freshman season. 

Liberty will compete in the district 1 meet May 18, 20 and 22 at Hilliard Darby. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. 

“(Weiss) and Camryn Thompson are both jumping (5 feet, 2 inches), so we’re leaning on them,” coach James Dingus said. “(Thompson) is a varsity gymnast for our school also, so she’s used to big competition. We’re excited to see how she can continue to progress. (Weiss) always seems to get better every year, so we’re hoping she can get over the 5-2 mark and see where she can go.” 

Weiss cleared 5-2 in the state indoor finale March 7 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva to finish ninth. She also went 5-2 in a dual April 13 against Dublin Jerome. 

She joined the program as a freshman sprinter but tried the high jump at the end of that season and cleared 5-0 to win the junior varsity league meet. 

“This spring I’ve only gotten (5-2) once, but in the winter, I got it at the indoor state finale,” said Weiss, who has committed to Wittenberg. “I feel really good about it. I was really excited for this season since we didn’t get to do anything last year and I’m excited to work on my technique. 

“Camryn has consistently been at 5-2, and I’m so proud of her for sure. Even if we’re not saying anything, we bounce energy off of each other and it helps us both a ton. My goal is to clear 5-4.” 

Thompson competed in the all-around in the district gymnastics meet in each of her first two prep seasons. 

In her inaugural prep track meet April 6, she cleared 5-2 in the high jump and then reached that height in four of her next six meets. 

“Honestly it’s been pretty shocking because the last time I jumped was in eighth grade,” Thompson said. “I didn’t know how the season was going to go. I did well in eighth grade, so I wanted to keep doing it. Last spring I was just doing workouts, doing stuff for gymnastics and workouts that my coaches gave me. (Having a gymnastics background) helps a lot. I definitely want to clear something other than 5-2, so my goal is 5-4 and I think I can definitely get better than that before the end of the season.” 

While Tonetti went 17-7 1/4 in the long jump when she won the Freedom Relays on April 23 at Liberty, a pair of other seniors, Sindhu Sharma in the long jump and Sophie Culver in the high jump, have provided depth in those events. 

“Sophie Culver is a senior, so we’ve got the two seniors and a sophomore (in the high jump) and that’s a good grouping,” Dingus said. “Nicole Tonetti is still doing well.” 

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek