Winfield high jumper soars to new heights at state track tourney
Winfield High School high jumper Carly Hinkle ended her high school career at the Class AA track and field state championship, but she left her mark in the record books as she advances to the college ranks.
Hinkle, committed to the University of Kentucky, set a new Class AA state mark, with a leap of 5-8¼ on May 20. In addition to her top jump, Hinkle ran the anchor leg of Winfield’s state record-breaking, winning 4x100-meter relay; anchored the first-place 4x200; and she took third individually in the 100, with a new school record time.
Hinkle’s efforts helped propel Winfield to the girls team championship, while the Generals boys squad also took first place.
“I was really excited to go out that way,” Hinkle said, “because I’ve been trying to break records and I never got to break them, and I finally got to break the high jump record at the state meet.”
The titles represented the final high school accolades in a decorated career marked by years of hard work, Winfield coach David Bailey said.
“She has a God-given talent, but that kid works,” he said. “She does a lot of the little things that people don’t do to make herself better. I give her the credit for that. She’s a hard-working kid, great attitude. You just can’t say enough about her. She’s special.”
During her career, Hinkle amassed high jump titles in both Class AA and AAA, before Winfield was reclassified. She also ran as part of championship relays in the 4x100, 4x200 (twice) and 4x400, with several other individual and relay All-State performances, too, as a General.
Additionally, this year, Hinkle represented Winfield in April at the 123rd annual Penn Relays, the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, held at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. Hinkle performed well on the big stage, as she tied for second in the girls high school division with a jump of 5-7¼.
“It was breathtaking,” Hinkle said of the event. “There were a lot of people there and just to be able to go there and experience it, it was a big deal.”
As Hinkle moves to Kentucky, she’ll now focus solely on jumping, with her final sprints and relays behind her.
“I think it’s bittersweet,” Hinkle said of no longer running. “I’m excited to focus on jumping, because I feel like I’m going to get better at it, finally reach heights I’ve been chasing for a while, but, at the same time, it’s kind of sad I won’t competitively run anymore.”
Though Hinkle competed for the final time as a Winfield General, she said it was the perfect way to finish her high school career.
“It didn’t hit me until it was all over,” she said. “I was a little sad, but I was happy that both the boys and girls could come out with the state title.”