Even coping with injury, Malaiya Jedkins performed well enough to earn an all-conference honor this track and field season.
The Navasota High School graduate finished third in the triple jump for McNeese State University at the Southland Conference indoor track and field championship. The sophomore set a personal record of 40 feet, 10 1/2 inches in earning all-conference third-team recognition.
“I did way better than I expected,” said Jedkins, who finished seventh in the triple jump at the 2019 conference indoor championship. “I pulled through. I got it together.”
She ran the lead leg of the 4-by-400- meter relay that finished fourth at the championship, which also contributed to the team’s scoring. McNeese State placed fourth among 13 teams. “I particularly like the first leg (of the relay),” she said. “Start us off with a good run. I know how to get us going.”
She said she jammed the big toe on her left foot, her plant foot for jumps, into the ground when she was running in an event at a home meet during late January. She won the 55-meter dash during that meet, setting a career best of 7.27 seconds in the preliminary, and placed eighth in the long jump.
From that meet on, she said, “I was basically jumping with a fractured toe.”
After the injury, she rehabbed daily and had the toe wrapped for track activities.
Her best finish in the long jump was third at a February meet, when she set a personal best of 18-9. The 60 and 200 runs were other events in which she competed.
Considering that she had to deal with injury, Jedkins was pleased with her indoor season and is inspired to achieve more in the coming years. “Now I know what I’m capable of,” she said.
She has been training at home since the outdoor season was cancelled. She sprints and runs longer distances, including uphill. She does squats and pullups to maintain core strength and stay in shape.
She continues to treat the toe. “It swells up every now and then,” she said. “My trainer sends me exercises. I keep it iced.”
Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org.