High school track: How Cashion's Madelyn McCabe became an All-American high jumper
CASHION – Madelyn McCabe is familiar with the drive to Edmond and Kingfisher.
The junior on Cashion’s track team needed to find ways to craft her skill set. Cashion doesn’t have a track, so she heads to Kingfisher to practice relays with her teammates and to Edmond for long and high jump work at Cheyenne Middle School.
For running practice, there’s a block in town athletes run that equates to an 800. Those in Cashion call it the ‘Block of Death.’ There is also some work done on the football field.
“Our coaches got really creative,” McCabe said.
The creativity helped put Cashion’s girls on top, clinching their first track state title last season. McCabe was pivotal in that, winning state in the high jump as a sophomore. But McCabe never high jumped before her sophomore year. Last summer, two months after winning state, she became an All-American high jumper at the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Impressive as a feat as it is, McCabe did it with what she considered poor form at the time and without having any training facilities at her high school.
Her jump of 5-feet, 3 inches secured her All-America status. She has shattered that mark this season, jumping 5-7 at an indoor meet in Kansas.
McCabe said her focus this season is enhancing her form. She didn’t begin running track until eighth grade, so there’s plenty left to develop.
“At the state track meet (last year), I basically jumped like a pencil over the bar,” McCabe said. “I’m really working my arch and knee drive. My technique is much different than last year, where we were just saying, ‘Jump the bar.’”
Even with the success, McCabe craves more. She missed out on Cashion’s long jump record by a quarter of an inch last year, so one of her goals is to break that. She was also runner-up to Ketchum’s Mattie Flanagan last year in long jump at the Class 2A state meet, driving her to stand on top of the podium this season.
McCabe and her father, Shane, turned to YouTube and books to help learn successful techniques in the field events. Other coaches, including Cashion coach Tony Wood, offered tips to tune her routine along the way.
Division I schools are noticing McCabe's work ethic and numbers, and she has received a couple offers in recent months. It shows how much effort McCabe has put in while making the most of what she has, becoming an All-American without track facilities at her school.
“I keep setting marks every year of what I want to break,” McCabe said. “I just want to increase my technique and get better.”