MESA - There was a time when Travonn White might not have recovered.
The Mountain Pointe junior could have melted and disappeared like a sugar cube in coffee as hot as it was, along with the pressure of expectations, Saturday Mesa Community College.
Instead White came back from scratching, which doesn't count as one of three attempts allowed, on his final attempt to put together a long jump of 24-feet and 5.5 inches to win the Division I state title.
Not bad after missing the meet altogether a year ago.
“I like testing my mental toughness,” he said afterward. “Something like that would have bothered me before, but I understood I had another chance. All it takes is one time.”
That one time was enough to push teammate Ben Trotter to second as the later was leading White by two inches heading into White’s final attempt.
Trotter was at 23-07 knowing White could beat him in his final attempt. It’s a tough position, wanting to be rewarded for all the hours put into his fantastic four-year career, but also wanting White to do his best.
“We’re competitive,” said Trotter, who finished third in the 100. “What are you gonna do? Travonn is great at it. I want to win. I was just watching him do his thing knowing if he got off a good one he’d beat me.”
That he did.
White’s winning effort fell short of his school record of 24-10.5 and his goal of 25 feet, although he might have challenged it on his second jump if his left hand didn't lag behind.
White was satisfied knowing he has the Meet of Champions next week and some big national events this summer that just might put him in contention for the U.S. Junior World Team.
“I am happy but I know there is more out there for me,” he said. “It means a lot to me. It is all I've been thinking about. I’m going to keep working, keep getting better and see how far I can go.”
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.