BRUNSWICK Ga. (WSAV) – Brunswick high jumper Riyon Rankin has quickly established himself as one of the best in the state.
Rankin cleared a 7-foot bar at the Class 6A state track and field meet in Carrollton – four inches higher than his closest competitors – to claim a state championship. That’s not even his best jump: Rankin cleared a 7-foot-1 bar this year too and aims to go even higher.
Rankin’s jumping talents have drawn the attention of several colleges, not to mention plenty of admirers in his own community. We talked with Rankin about his jumping goals and what might lay in store after he graduates in 2023.
Conversation has been edited for grammar, syntax and clarity.
Q: When you cleared that 7-foot bar at the state championships, what were your first thoughts afterward? And walk me through what you were thinking on the approach.
A: I’ve cleared 7-foot bars a couple of times this season, so when I cleared it at state, I was like “yeah.” Because some people didn’t believe it, so at state, I had to prove it to some people.
Q: Was there any difference in doing it at state compared to those other times? I know it’s a little more pressure there than a regular meet.
A: A little bit. It felt like a lot of eyes were on me as I was getting ready to jump. I had my grandma, my mom and my brother. They were happy.
Q: When you think about what’s next for you after already being a state champion, what are some goals you have for the future?
A: I want to break the state record next year for the high jump. It’s 7-foot-5, so I’m going to try to get 7-foot-6.
Q: How do you get from where you are now to 7-6? What do you see in yourself that you can improve?
A: I can improve my technique a lot and I’m going to work harder in the weight room to get my legs stronger. I’ve only been taking six steps and it’s supposed to be 10.
Q: Have any schools reached out to you or have you visited anywhere? Where are you in the college recruiting process?
A: I’ve been talking to a couple of schools but I have not visited anywhere yet. I’ve been talking to Georgia, Southern Miss, North Carolina Central and a few other teams.
Q: What have those conversations been like?
A: They’ve been good. I just have to focus on my grades. My grades could definitely be better.
Q: I know other sports have offseason camps that you can go to at colleges for instruction and to get some facetime with coaches. Does track and field have anything like that?
A: They have little meets they do. There’s one they’re going to have in Florida that I’m going to try to go to.
Q: Do you do any events besides high jump?
A: I do the 4×400 relay and I’m pretty decent at it. I like the competition, I like to compete, you know. I also play basketball; small forward and shooting guard.
RIYON’S TWITTER: https://twitter.com/RiyonRankin
RIYON’S MILESPLIT: https://ga.milesplit.com/athletes/9820810-riyon-rankin
RIYON’S HUDL: https://www.hudl.com/profile/14932719/riyon-rankin