Jumping to Success


Mayo beginning her jump. Photo courtesy to Ozark Sports Zone.

Junior Taylor Mayo recently broke the school record for long jump, with a distance of 19”2, and is expected to soon hold the triple jump record as well. 

   Mayo’s main sport growing up was gymnastics, but after an injury, she had to stop. 

   “I fell off of the beam and my knee hit my face. It crushed my whole cheek bone so I had to get surgery to reconstruct it and now I have metal plates holding my bones in place,” Mayo explained. 

   Without gymnastics, Mayo had to find another activity to occupy her time.

    “I did gymnastics for 10 years before stopping after 8th grade. After my injury and decided it was time to move on. I played some softball and soccer when I was very young, but they weren’t for me,” Mayo said. 

   Mayo never expected that track would become such a big part of her life. 

   “I thought that I would always be a gymnast because that was all I had ever done. I only started track in 7th grade because I was trying to get back in shape for gymnastics after my injury. I did it the next season in 8th grade, and that is where I first tried triple jump. I did hurdles as well and had a lot of success in middle school. After that, I met my current coach who I train with year round and haven’t looked back,” Mayo said. 

   Mayo also competes competitively outside of Kickapoo. 

   “I practice outside of school with a running and a weights coach. During the school season, I only train outside of school practice up to 4 days a week. When I am not in school season, I train 6 days. I compete in the summer in AAU meets as well,” Mayo said. 

   Track keeps Mayo very busy. She explains how she stays motivated.

   “I stay motivated by my results. When I put in the work, I see results. I love working hard because I want to be successful in my sport. The hard work is the fun part of sports in my opinion because that is where you get better. My coaches motivate me a lot because they are so dedicated and they invest so much time into me and my teammates. I want to be the best and continue track in the future, so my goals fuel me to stay motivated,” Mayo said.

  With the hard work, there is always a positive outcome. Mayo shares what she loves about track. 

   “My favorite thing about track is that there is so much to do. There is always something for me to work on in all my events. Triple jump is very technical, so breaking down each and every part of it is something that is necessary for success. I also love that there is always room for improvement, whether that be getting faster or jumping farther,” Mayo said. 

   The events that Mayo compete in include triple jump, long jump, the 4×100 relay, and the 4×200 relay. 

   “My favorite event right now is long jump because I broke the school record. I really like relays as well because our teams are good and I enjoy being able to work with my teammates to win,” Mayo explained. 

   Meet days can be stressful. This is how Mayo prepares for her events. 

   “I always listen to music before a meet and try to stay relaxed. Talking and having fun with my teammates help keep my mind right. I try to have only positive self talk before I race or jump so that I can enjoy my meet and do well,” Mayo shared. 

   Mayo hopes to continue on with track in her future. 

   “It is my dream to do track in college but I am not sure where I want to go. Arkansas has a really successful track team, so it would be amazing to go there. I want to go to a big college that has a good track team, so that is my goal,” Mayo said. 

   Mayo has several awards already, including being second in state for triple jump. 

   “I’m looking forward to what else I can accomplish before I graduate,” Mayo said.