On his very first attempt at the long jump Saturday at the Division I state track and field meet, Middletown junior Jalin Marshall proved he’s not just a football phenom. Marshall’s leap of 23-00.75 would
eventually be the winning distance in the event. His previous best was 22-6. Athlete is right…
On his very first attempt at the long jump at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, future Ohio State Buckeye Jalin Marshall
traversed a distance of 23-00.75 in the sand pit to record what would
eventually be the winning distance in the event at the state track and
field tournament this past weekend.
“I just wanted to go in there and place and compete and just get
on the podium,” said Marshall while he waited under the tent in the
infield to take the podium. “It just so happened that I won it so it
And like he always does, Marshall just let his own natural talent and ability take over.
“I felt confident but I didn’t think I was going to win,” Marshall said. “But I just went in there and I competed.”
And the result was his best technical long jump of the entire season.
“It feels real good,” said Marshall, whose previous best mark
ever was 22-06. “That was my first time all year getting on the board
and I just sprang it up there and popped out a 23.
“I just felt good. I felt loose, I felt powerful and I just went
out there and jumped. And I knew I hit it right away. It felt special.
It felt good.”
And the feeling he had while standing atop the podium to receive his gold medal felt pretty good as well.
“I’m just relieved that I came up here and I did my best and I
won,” said, Marshall just seconds after the OHSAA official placed the
medal around his neck. “The podium is high up there and I’d like to get
another championship so this just gives me more confidence toward the
Marshall participated in the 4×200 relay last year for Middletown at the state meet and the Middies placed sixth in that event.
“I didn’t run this year because we didn’t really have a team to
run,” Marshall said. “So I just worked hard in this and in the high jump
and just got better every week and my coaches put me in a great
position to win. So I won and it feels real good.”
And with a little more than an hour still before the high jump
competition was set to begin Marshall contemplated what it might be like
if he didn’t do as well as he was hoping to in that event.
“It would be a learning point,” Marshall said. “I’m not satisfied
with just this right now but if I don’t go out there and win the high
jump, I know I’m going home with a gold medal and it just feels real
good to have a gold medal.”
So even though Marshall started off relatively strong in the high jump, he ended the contest tied for fourth place.
“Things didn’t work out like I wanted them to,” he said. “But I’m
still on the podium and fourth place is a high place so I’m satisfied
Although Marshall had said he was hoping clear 6-10 or 6.11 prior
to the event, a calculated mishap may have contributed as much to where
he finished as anything.
“I cleared 6-06 and then I (chose to move up to) 6-08 instead of
doing 6-07 like everybody else,” said Marshall whose personal best in
the high jump coming in was 6-08.00. “I didn’t clear the bar at 6-08.”
But he was more than okay with the final result despite the disappointment.
“Yeah, I’m disappointed in myself,” Marshall said. “Coming into
the event I was confident but I didn’t have my steps in the right place.
But I’m proud of myself. I worked hard and it paid off.
“Going home with two medals, two high-place medals, it just feels real good.”
And doing it all in the shadows of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center made it even more special for Marshall.
“It’s just a blessing for me to be able to do this here and then
come to this school,” Marshall said. “It’s just great. It makes it even
And he’ll have another chance at mining gold in the same two
events next year since Marshall made it clear he has no plans to enroll
early at OSU.
“I’ll be back here next year,” Marshall said. “They talk to me
about it all the time but I’m not leaving early. So I’ll be back here
again next year.”