Northside’s Jenkins jumping for joy

Published 6:24 pm Thursday, April 30, 2009

By By GREG KATSKI, Staff Writer
YEATESVILLE — For such a newcomer to the sport, Kenneth Jenkins has already set the bar high for himself in track and field.
Jenkins, who joined the Northside track and field team this year, already holds the school record in the high jump at 6 foot, 6 inches.
Now, Jenkins, a senior at Northside High School, is hoping to break the state high school mark of 7 feet.
At the Atlantic and Albemarle Conference Track &Field Meet, held at Northside on Wednesday evening, Jenkins topped out at 6 foot, 4 inches, but he’ll have the opportunity to best himself at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Class 1A Mid-East Regional on May 9 at Pamlico County High School.
Jenkins already has a spot in the regional thanks to his 6 foot, 6 inch leap, recorded earlier this season.
Jenkins, a Belhaven native, had no intention of joining track and field before this season.
He had always been a baller, high rising for a dunk, not to clear a bar.
But Jenkins’ friend is on the track and field team, and thought his powerful dunks would translate well to the high jump.
And they did.
Michael Hagerty, Jenkins’ mentor and trainer, thinks his prodigy can break the state mark.
Jenkins said he was close to clearing 6 foot, 8 inches in practice a week ago.
As for regional, he expects to come out a winner and advance to state.
After graduating from Northside, Jenkins’ plans to attend Pitt Community College or Beaufort County Community College.
Either way, he plans to keep clearing the high bar.
And Jenkins’ mentor seems excited about the prospect.