Lanett junior Boozer wins first state championship in high jump

Published 10:05 pm Friday, May 3, 2019

LANETT — Zameron Boozer placed second last year in the high jump at the state track and field meet not due to height, but because of the number of attempts he made in the effort. His goal ever since has been to make sure that never happens again.

“This year, I’m working a little harder than what I did last year,” Boozer said before this year’s state meet. “This year is going to be different because my work ethic is different, so I’m more confident.”

On Friday in Cullman, that hard work paid off as Boozer won the 1A boys state championship in the high jump with a leap of 6-6.

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The 6-foot-8 junior said that he has gotten to practice earlier and has stayed later this season. His personal records have gone up, which was topped on Friday at the state meet. Boozer said that he doesn’t make the excuse of Lanett not having a high jump pit to practice at, and that he comes into work on the days that the team doesn’t have to practice in addition to working out and stretching at home.

Last year was Boozer’s first in the world of track and field. The then-sophomore was unable to clear 5-8 in a meet at Beauregard High School. His two-month rise to the state meet in 2018 even surprised him as a gift that he stumbled upon.

“Honestly, I didn’t find out [that I would be good at it] until last year when I started doing it,” Boozer said before laughing. “Yeah, I figured it out last year, and I went from there and just built upon it.”

Despite his success in the sport, Boozer said that basketball is still the sport that he’s focusing on to play in college.

“It helps me last longer,” Boozer said of the benefits that being on the track and field team. “It helps with your endurance, staying in shape and staying on the court longer.”

At practice on Tuesday afternoon with temperatures in the high 80s, Boozer was running alongside the sprinters around Lanett’s track and the outfield warning track at Jennings Field. The boys and girls teams just won sectionals the previous weekend and were getting in final practices before leaving for Cullman.

The football team, which Boozer is also a part of, was practicing nearby running drills and taking commands from the versatile coaching staff that wasn’t helping the track team. Price and assistant coach Ritae Ziegler are watching the girls and boys teams run.

“Zameron’s one of those kids who embraces work,” Price said. “His work ethic is a lot like Braylon [Harrnigton]’s from last year. If there’s any kid that you have to send in, and just be a workaholic, it would be Braylon. Zameron has that same attitude. You’re not going to outwork those kids, and when kids have that kind of work ethic combined with that athletic ability, then really the sky’s the limit for those guys.”

Boozer entered the weekend with a chance to redeem himself from last year, bring back a gold medal to Lanett and he has now done that.

“Hopefully two [state championships],” Boozer said before the weekend. “I hope we get it as a team in high jump, and this year at sectionals was my first time doing triple jump. I qualified in that, so we might get something in that, too.”