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Arizona's Ross Ready To Jump High At The Armory

Published by
ArmoryTrack.com   on Feb 5 2014, 06:40 PM

Arizona's Ross Ready To Jump High At The Armory

By Doug Binder for ArmoryTrack.com

Nick Ross has done a lot of watching and waiting in the past year and now the Arizona senior is ready to claim a spot among the young wave of elite high jumpers.

Ross watched Erik Kynard and Derek Drouin duel it out at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last June. He saw athletes between the ages of 22 and 24 claim all three medals at the World Championships. And, of course, he watched his Arizona teammate, Brigetta Barrett, win a global silver medal for the second year in a row.

“(Kynard and Drouin) are two of my most favorite jumpers out there. It’s been nice to compete against them and nice to sit back and appreciate they work they put in and the heights they were going to,” Ross said. “Knowing that they’re putting in tons and tons of work, that’s motivating me and pushing me this last year and a half.”

Ross has every reason to believe he could be right there with them. Two years ago, he placed third at the Olympic Trials but was unable to go to London because he didn’t have the qualifying standard.

Then, later in 2012, he had back-to-back surgeries on his ankle (penultimate side) that led to his red-shirting the 2013 indoor and outdoor seasons.

Perhaps no athlete is off to a better start to the NCAA indoor season this year than Ross, who will compete along with Arizona teammates at the Armory Collegiate Invitational Presented by NYRR.

Last month he became the first college jumper since 2000 to clear 7-7 in the month of January. It was also good for No. 5 in the world so far this year.

“This is the first season I’ve had where I could go through the fall training healthy,” said Ross, who was a California state champion and 7-3 jumper in high school. “My freshman year (at Arizona) I was still underdeveloped. My sophomore year I had surgery for bone fragments in my knee.”

With two relatively minor surgeries on his ankle at the end of 2012, Ross hopes there are no more injuries in sight.

The fall off-season consisted of building a stronger base, he said.

“I’ve become more dynamic,” Ross said. “I still use a 10-step approach, but I’ve moved back four feet. Everything else (technically) is the same.”

But he also has a fresh perspective on competing. And he credits Barrett for that.

“Brigetta is awesome,” Ross said. “She always has a positive mentality towards anything that’s going on. She has changed (my approach) to meets. I’ve always had a goofy personality, but when it came down to meets I felt it had to be serious and focused and locked in. Seeing Brigetta I understood why she could be singing and laughing and enjoying it. Meets are the place to have fun. The weight lifting, the practice, that’s the hard stuff.”

At The Armory, Ross will be jumping into the same pit where Barrett competed in last year’s Millrose Games. She also sang "America The Beautiful" that day.

“It will be nice to go up to New York for my first time,” he said. “I'm really excited to go out there and have some fun and enjoy myself.”

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