HomeNorth Brunswick SentinelNB SportsVikings' Campbell looks to improve on high jump win at MOC

Vikings’ Campbell looks to improve on high jump win at MOC

By Warren Rappleyea

Although she only began competing a year ago, South Brunswick High School’s Courteney Campbell has had a meteoric rise that saw her win the high jump at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions (MOC).

The junior’s personal best of 5-6 on her first attempt, which was also a team record, put her on top of some heady competition that included Franklin High School’s Selena Thorne and Montgomery High School’s Hannah Taylor. Both girls had bested Campbell at both the overall Group IV and Central Jersey, Group IV meets. The South Brunswick jumper edged them both in the MOC based on fewer misses. Campbell became the first member of the Lady Vikings to win an indoor title.

“Courteney was pretty nervous in the earlier meets, particularly the Group IV meet, where she missed her first two jumps,” South Brunswick coach Stefan Moorhead said. “She still did well, but we knew she could do better.”

Campbell finished fourth in the overall Group IV meet with a jump of 5-4 and was third in the sectional, also with a jump of 5-4, as she helped the Lady Vikings to the Central Jersey, Group IV title. She also combined with Sydney Schneider for an overall 10-2 score to win the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Relays.

“The experience from competing in the prior meets really helped,” Campbell said. “I gradually got more comfortable and coach kept telling [me] that I could do it and that there was nothing to be nervous about. That helped a lot.”

Although she dabbled in track in middle school, Campbell only got serious about competing last spring after Moorhead, who was her history teacher, convinced her to try out. The coach tried Campbell in several events, including as a sprinter, before it became obvious she excelled in jumping.

She participated in several meets last spring and then spent the summer honing her skills. Campbell worked with a personal trainer and spent countless hours in the gym and on the field.

“I was actually scared of the high jump when my coach asked me to try it,” Campbell said. “The more I tried it, the more I liked it and I could see that I was improving. So, I decided to focus harder.”

Her impact was immediate this winter. In addition to her individual successes, she helped the Lady Vikings with the GMC and Central Jersey, Group IV championships, and the team went undefeated in dual meets.

The Campbell household is sort of a home for champions. Her older brother, Phil, a University of Pittsburgh commit, helped the Vikings’ football team win the Central Jersey, Group V crown last fall. He is also a sprinter on South Brunswick’s boys track team.

Moorhead noted that Courteney Campbell is already garnering interest from colleges. He is looking to her to add the long jump to her skill set.

“There’s no telling how far Courteney can go,” Moorhead said. “She has the talent and the work ethic. She puts in the time and really wants to get better. On a recent Friday night, she competed in the Eastern Regionals in New York. I told her she could have Saturday off from practice, but she was there 9 a.m.”

Campbell is excited about the upcoming spring season and, hopefully, garnering more accomplishments in the high jump.

“Jumping 5-8 is my goal right now,” she said. “I almost had it at the Meet of Champions. My ankle kind of clipped the bar. That’s my focus now.”

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