Weather has limited the opportunities for Minnetonka’s Mia Barron to get outside and work on her skills as a jumper, but there is good reason to expect big things from the senior track and field star this spring.
At the recent invitation-only New Balance High School Indoor Track and Field Championships in New York, Barron won bronze medals in the long jump (19 feet, 8¼ inches) and triple jump (41 feet, ¼ inch). Had it happened in a sanctioned high school state meet, Barron’s long jump would have topped the state record of 19-2¼. Her triple jump would have been second in state history.
“I was hoping to PR [personal record] there and I did,” said Barron, who will jump for the University of Virginia next year. “Twenty feet in the long jump doesn’t seem that far off.”
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with Barron about what she’s done and what’s in store.
Q: Have you trained outside yet?
A: There are a few lanes of the track that were cleared off, but I haven’t been outside too much. This is always kind of the worst part of the season, when you’re ready to get outside and get rolling but you can’t. You just have to wait until it warms up.
Q: How did you get ready for the meet in New York?
A: I train year-round with a track club, the Park Flyers.
Q: Were you worried that others in the meet would have an advantage because they’ve been able to prepare longer?
A: I’ve competed in several national meets, so I’m kind of used to it. Since this was the first big meet of the season, it was kind of an eye-opener.
Q: How do you train in the winter?
A: There aren’t many indoor jumping pits. Every Sunday in the winter I go to the U of M jump clinics that Shani Marks-Johnson puts on. On other days I work on strength and speed training and some technique stuff in the Minnetonka dome.
Q: You had to be pleased by your performance, then.
A: I knew that if I put everything together that I was working on that I would PR and place highly. There’s always a little doubt, but I was fortunate to put it all together.
Q: Why Virginia?
A: Virginia was my third official visit. I had gotten a good feeling from talking to the head coach and jumps coach. The school is in the ACC, which is one of, if not the, best track conferences in the nation. If you want to be one of the best, you have to compete with the best.
Q: I’ve heard its a beautiful campus.
A: It is. I love Charlottesville. It’s exactly what you think of when you think of a great university.
Q: You won the long jump and took second in the triple jump at the state meet last year. How do you top that?
A: I’d like to double in the long jump and the triple jump. Last year, the triple jump didn’t go the way I wanted. I had an off-day and didn’t have my timing right. I’d like to win both and break the all-time state record for the triple jump.
Q: Do you have a favorite event?
A: The triple jump. I like it because it’s so technical and I’m an analytical person. I like to pinpoint the little things that can help me jump farther.