With Travonn White, it has always been taking the good with the bad.
Whether he was making the game-tying catch against Hamilton, missing nearly all of his senior track season because of off-the-field troubles or winning the long jump title as a junior for Mountain Pointe, White was a mix of both with his time with the Pride.
It was on display again in Oregon on Saturday when the Central Arizona product put together a personal-best long jump of 26 feet, 4.5 inches to win the USATF Junior Championship.
Before he hit his mark, he had four faults and one other quality jump (25-10.75, which would have won it as well).
“That’s not typical,” he said of the four faults. “Each day is unexpected, but you have to stay focused.”
White, who the Arizona long jump title with a jump of 24-5.5 as junior in 2012, but finished third as a senior (22-10), said he was taking chances just in case he could pull off the big one he has always been working toward.
“I was just being real aggressive,” he said. “I had butterflies the whole event.”
It led to some struggles (four non-qualifying jumps) and two terrific efforts (third and sixth) to take the title.
“It is an indescribable feeling, winning and being on the team,” White told reporters afterward. “The best thing is that we will be back to Oregon for the Worlds. Hayward Field is amazing, the support, claps and chants, it’s just impossible to not jump well here.”
This comes on the heels of winning the national junior college title with a jump of 25 feet, 6.25 inches on May 17 at Mesa Community College.
“Every victory means a lot,” White told the AFN after winning the JC title. “I have a lot more to do before I get where I want to be, and it showed me anything is possible.”
Apparently after his latest effort gave him the No. 2 distance in the world for athletes under 20 behind China’s Jianan Wang, who won the Asian title with a jump of 26-5.75.
White said getting a month to concentrate on one event was the key along with believing in himself and his chance of nailing the big jump.
“I was focused and came in with a lot more confidence,” he said. “This is the most confident and prepared I’ve been.”
Central Arizona coach Tony Dougherty said after White won the national title that there an even better effort to be attained.
“He almost went 26 feet this year (during the spring) and there’s no reason he can’t do that or further. There’s no question that he has the ability to be one of the finest long jumpers in the country,” Dougherty said.
White has proven that after his effort in Oregon and will get a chance to see how he fares against the rest of the world.
He has qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships, which will take place July 22-27 at Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“It’s unbelievable, really,” White said. “Especially, having it back at Oregon. It’s a great atmosphere. I can’t wait.”
• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.