For most track and field athletes, winning a state championship is the ultimate goal.
For Augusta Prep junior Caitlin King, it wasn't quite enough.
King already had her state title in the bag April 29 in Albany, Ga. The junior out-jumped the competition in the GISA Class AAA state track meet by more than two feet on her first attempt in the triple jump.
The 35 feet, 7 inches wasn't enough.
"I knew I had the capability to break the state record," King said. "I didn't want to stop until I had it."
Risking fatigue in her other events that day, King toed the line again for a second attempt. She shattered the GISA state record by at least a half-foot, but her toe broke the line on the initial jump, and the distance was scratched. A third attempt was also a scratch, while try No. 4 was short of the record.
Finally, on her fifth and final try, King put her name in the record books with a triple jump of 35 feet, 8.5 inches.
"I was telling her to stop after the first jump to save her energy for her other events," Augusta Prep track coach and athletic director Tom Holodak said.
The four extra jumps didn't faze King at all. She went on to break two more school records with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter run and a state title in the 400-meter run.
The individual triumphs completed a long road to the top in King's high school career at Augusta Prep. Holodak said she showed signs of promise as an eighth-grader at Augusta Christian. After transferring to Augusta Prep for academic reasons as a freshman, King had to temporarily give up the sport she loved.
"I had to sit out my freshman year because Augusta Christian was still in the GISA then," King said. "At that time I had danced for about eight years. I tried to do both (track and dance), but it was too time-consuming. It was a tough decision, but I picked track because I like it more."
Since giving up competitive dance, King has made plenty of strides both on and off the track. She serves as junior class president at Augusta Prep. For the past 11 years she has also earned top honors as a Girl Scout and recently became a member of the National Honors Society with a 4.0 grade point average.
"She's a great student and a great representative of this school," Holodak said.
As for King's future, she'll start her senior year in the fall with more than enough accomplishments under her belt. She'll have her pick of several colleges that have expressed interest in both her athletic and academic skills, including Duke, North Carolina, Emory, Georgetown, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania.
King said there's no reason to stop giving it her best.
"I'll just try to re-break all my records. There's always room for improvement," she said.
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