By Tim Taylor

CMS has a seventh-grader who has a chance to compete for a state title in the long jump.

In a meet last week, Jacob Reed jumped 18 feet, 9 inches to win the long jump in the 13-team Bulldog Invitational, a whopping 2 feet, 10 inches farther than the second-best leaper – and second-best in the state and 22nd in the nation.

Seventh grader Ari Weiss, meanwhile, impressed at the 100 meters, clocking 13.1 seconds for the 10th best time in the state and beating the runner-up by .2 seconds.

They lead a talented track and field squad at Charleston Middle, who play host to Champaign Jefferson and Champaign Franklin. Plus, the Little Trojan Classic is scheduled for Saturday.

Jacob Reed wins the long jump at the Bulldog Invitational (Video/Angela Blair)

“I’m looking forward to (today’s) meet against Jefferson and Franklin,” CMS coach Molly Bickford said. “Both schools were at the Mahomet invite, so we’ve seen them before. But it’ll be at home. Little things like a different stye of hurdle, a smaller foul line on long jump, different colored exchange zones, etc. can really mess with a novice athlete.”

Eighth-grader Alex Matheny remains a favorite to do well in shot put and discus. At the Bulldog Invitational, he heaved the put 38-7, more than 3 feet farther than anyone else. In the discus, he unleashed a throw of 101-5.5 – more than 9 feet farther than the next best competitor.

Under a wind advisory during last week’s meet, seventh-grader Maddox Archibald cleared 5 feet at the high jump to earn first place, which is a height that would qualify him for the IESA State Meet. Eighth-grader Soren Flygare won the high jump at 4 feet, 11 inches.

“Many of our seventh-grade runners had never heard a starting gun, so that was a little intimidating and different than the whistle they’re used to. It’ll be an exciting season,” Bickford said.