MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – “I was honestly scared to go over the bar my first few jumps,” said Heritage High School senior Grant Campbell. “The first couple of times I hit my head on the pole actually.”
For someone who didn’t start track and field until his sophomore year, and struggled early on, Campbell became pretty good. He’s the top high school high jumper in the nation.
“It’s almost an adrenaline rush every time watching him,” said Coach Shane Rewis.
“My first couple of years I wasn’t really big into it,” added Campbell. “I just showed up to the meets and tried to get it over with and this year I was actually getting ready to quit.”
Well, good thing he didn’t quit. Campbell leaped into the history books, breaking a 27-year old Tennessee record.
“He had known that the state record at the time was seven-feet two-inches,” said Rewis. “So we asked him what he wanted to do. He didn’t come out and say 7’2” to tie it. He wanted that record by himself so he came out and said 7’2.25″
However as of this weekend, that’s no longer the record.
“He beat his own record again by another inch,” smiled Rewis. “7’3.25,” so just watching those and listening to him realize that nothing is stopping him.”
“I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk, it was just all at once. It just happened so quick,” said Campbell.
It was a jump that not only shifted Tennessee history, but also Campbell’s future.
“Last month I thought I was going for basketball and it all just changed,” said Campbell.
Just last week, Campbell was committed to play college basketball at Freed Hardeman University. Now, he’s going to Tennessee, for track and field.
“I did tear up a little when I called my basketball coach to tell him I was going to pursue track,” said Campbell. “I’ve always wanted to focus on basketball and that was my number one sport.
But being number one has changed everything.
“I can’t even describe the feeling,” said Campbell. “It’s just exciting, and a little bit overwhelming.
Campbell went from being intimidated by the bar to setting it.