Minneapolis Southwest senior Tatyana Pashibin recently completed one of the school's most successful track and field careers.

She won the Class 2A high jump championship for the second consecutive year at the state track and field meet last the weekend.

In addition, she finished second in triple jump and surprised even herself by finishing runner-up in the long jump.

"I didn't know I was good in the long jump until about two weeks ago," Pashibin said. "The coaches needed me to long jump in the [Minneapolis] Conference meet and I ended up winning it."

Staff writer Jim Paulsen spoke with Pashibin about her proclivity for jumping.

Q How old were you when you discovered you were good at jumping?

A I don't really remember. The first time I high jumped, I was 11 years old.

Q Where?

A I did a lot through the KPAC [Kenny Park Activities Council] and the Minneapolis Park Board program. Some of the coaches said "You should try it" and I did and I guess I was pretty good at it.

Q How did you develop your talent for leaping?

A I have no idea. My mom says the when I was a baby, I had a "Johnny Jump-Up" and I liked to spend all of my time in it.

Q You've had an injury-riddled season. What happened?

A I sprained my ankle three times last year. I kept working and training through it, so it never really healed right. My ankles are still pretty weak. I've also been experiencing a lot of knee pain and swelling. And I've had a sore IT band in my hip, which makes it tough to jump much.

Q You must be looking forward to the summer and a little rest.

A It's kind of a relief that it's over, but I've still got a lot of physical therapy to do to make sure I'm good to go for next year.

Q Where are you going to compete in track and field in college?

A I'm going to compete for Marquette.

Q Why Marquette?

A I love everything about it. The coach is very nice and really excited to work with me. The school has a great physical therapy program, which is what I want to major in. And I just loved the feel of the community.

Q You've got two state championships, earned a scholarship to Marquette and won Southwest's Athena Award. Anything else?

A I got some academic awards. On senior night, I got the Southwest Academic and Athletic All-Star award. And I got Laker of the Year from the track team.

Q Anything you don't do well?

A I'm not very artistic. I spent the last hour painting my nails and it doesn't look too good.

Q What's the best part about going to a school in the city?

A Everyone comes from different backgrounds. There are so many different interests and such diversity. What's nice is that you get to see people who are different than you but you can relate to them.

Q Advice for students trying to balance academics and athletics?

A Look to your coaches and teachers for help and support. They really help you out if you ask. Just remember to say please and thank you.