LAWRENCE, Kan. – Olathe North junior Kai Rowden won his third high jump title of the young season Friday when he captured the Kansas Relays crown with a winning height of 6 feet, 8 inches.
“I had a lot of people to push me – competition to push me to new heights,” Rowden said. “I still have quite a bit of room for improvement. We’ve been lifting hard in the weight room for football. Toward regionals and state we’ll be cutting back on weights and working more on form.”
Rowden, who plays wide receiver and defensive back, said some of the football training does benefit his high jump. Track is also becoming a priority for Rowden after he won the high jump at the USATF National Jr. Olympics in Baltimore last summer with a 6-6 3/4.
“At that point, I got more serious about it,” Rowden said. “We train for explosion and power, which is something you use in high jump, but football wants you to gain a lot more weight.”
Rowden missed his three attempts at 7-0 ¼, which would have supplanted his current PR of 6-10.