Katie Kravitsky decided she wanted to try track and field in the spring of her freshman year.
High jumping was a different story.
Kravitsky had to be coaxed by her coaches to give the event a shot. She tried just about every other event first.
“I was like, ‘No I’m not doing that’,” Kravitsky said.
After Kravitsky’s initial refusals, the coaches insisted she try at a practice and Kravitsky is glad she did. In her very first meet as a freshman with no junior high experience, Kravitsky tied the school record by clearing 5-2 in a meet at Hazleton Area.
“I just didn’t really feel comfortable with that, because I was not used to it,” Kravitsky said. “It was a weird transition for me going right from basketball to track.”
High jumping quickly progressed from something Kravitsky did when basketball season was over to her main athletic pursuit.
Kravitsky, who just finished her sophomore season at Dallas, is gaining the attention of college recruiters on the Division I through III levels after competing at New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.
When she first decided to try track and field, Kravitsky joined her friend, Nikki Wren, in trying out for the team.
Wren and Kravitsky made the trip to nationals after meeting qualifying standards.
Kravitsky finished in a three-way tie for 15th out of 35 jumpers in the championship division for high school athletes who had cleared 5-5 ½ during their seasons. More than half of the field went out after clearing 5-5 ¾, leading to a series of tiebreakers for least misses to determine between 10th and 24th place. Kravitsky was in the middle of that group.
Bailey Weiland from Atlanta won the event with 5-11 ½.
Wren competed in the Emerging Elite Division for javelin throwers who had exceeded 100 feet, but had not thrown the 120 needed for the championship division. She finished sixth out of 28 competitors with 109-10.
Lauryn Galloway from East Brunswick, N.J. won with 119-10.
Kravitsky is resting before returning to training and deciding what competition to seek next. In the meantime, she is beginning to look at colleges, including an upcoming visit to Syracuse. Although she has received e-mails and letters, colleges cannot directly start the recruiting process until she begins her junior year.
After breaking the school record later in her freshman season, Kravitsky finished second in the District 2 championships, losing in a tie-breaker at 5-3, but qualifying for the state meet. She tied for 10th in the 2013 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships in Class AAA.
Kravitsky, a 6-foot-1, 16-year-old, kept improving.
“Last year, I just kind of would jump over the bar,” Kravitsky said. “This year, I have more of a technique. I have my own set of things I do beforehand and my approach to the bar has gotten better and improved a lot since last year.”
As a result, Kravitsky kept soaring higher. She set her personal best of 5-7 while winning the Lasagna Invitational at Wyalusing. In the postseason, she won the District 2 title at 5-5 – four inches higher than any other competitor – and earned a state medal with a fourth-place finish at 5-6.
Kravitsky once hoped to clear 5-8 by the time she completed high school. She now thinks 5-9 or 5-10 may be within reach.
Training and lifting to build up strength are the next step.
Wren, also a sophomore, finished sixth in District 2 Class AAA this season in the javelin.