LIMA – Sometimes good things come to those who wait.
When Lima Central Catholic’s Jamir Coleman first came onto the high school track-and-field scene, he wasn’t the one who always stood out. There were plenty other standouts on the LCC track team that seemed to overshadow the slender freshman.
Now, a senior, the University of Akron-bound Coleman doesn’t need any introductions.
This spring Coleman has consistently led the way for the T-Birds in both the sprints and long jump.
“His freshman year, he was kind of buried,” LCC coach Nathan Garlock said. “He was doing hurdles and long jumping 18 (feet), nothing that really stuck out. Then there was a gigantic leap from his freshman year to about midway through his sophomore year. His junior year he got so focused and really dialed in. During the indoor season (junior year), he long jumped 23 feet. I really think that momentum carried over into outdoor (season). He really started to believe in his abilities.”
Coleman’s confidence has paid huge dividends this spring.
At this past weekend’s Shawnee Invitational, Coleman set an outdoor season, personal best in the long jump (22 feet, 11 ¼ inches). He has an indoor PR of 23 feet.
The week before at the Delphos Invitational, Coleman set PRs in both the 100-meter dash (11.06 seconds) and 200 (22.50).
Last season, Coleman finished second at the Division III state meet in the long jump to teammate Mykale Rogers. Rogers won with a mark of 22 feet, 6 ¾ inches. Coleman’s best jump at the state meet was 22-5.
Also at last year’s state meet, Coleman was part of the winning 800-meter relay team that broke the Division III state-meet record (1:28.04), as well as part of the 400-meter relay team that finished first (42.71).
Track has always been Coleman’s favorite sport, as well as his primary focus.
“I’ve always been a track guy,” Coleman said. “People always wanted me to play football. I didn’t want to gain the ‘football weight’ and then revert back to track weight again. I also noticed a lot of guys who did football were battling injuries.”
Coleman is looking forward to returning to the state meet, where he hopes to make his mark in more than one event. The state meet will be held at Ohio State on June 6-7.
“As far as postseason, I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I’m hoping my long jump career continues to go smoothly,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a relay thrown in there. I’m aiming for the podium at state in the 100 and 200.”
Once the postseason is over, Coleman will turn his focus to college when he attends Akron. Coleman feels that Akron will be a good fit for him.
“I’m hoping for a great season next year, when I’m off to college. Hopefully I’ll get some records in some college arenas,” Coleman said. “When I went there (Akron) and I saw their flags, I noticed they had a lot of wins. The overall support of the team was great. Everyone was friendly and I really liked the coach. They have a really good program and they’re (NCAA) Division I. I’ve always wanted to compete at that level.”
With the T-Birds battling several injuries this season, the prospect of having relays at the state meet is still uncertain. Out for the season with injuries are Darius West and Nick Taflinger. Both West and Taflinger were two of the main cogs in the relays.
However, at the Shawnee Invitational, the T-Birds showed some promise as they put together two competitive relays, the 800 relay and 800 sprint medley relay.
“With the relays, we’re not sure what we will do yet,” Garlock said. “With having Mykale (Rogers) and Jamir back, I’m not too worried about not having enough time to put one together.”
According to Garlock, Rogers, who is Coleman’s cousin, is one of the reasons why Coleman has become so successful over the past few seasons.
“What’s really pushed Jamir was competing with Mykale. They both push each other to get better,” said Garlock.
Coleman would like nothing more than to have Rogers down at the state meet with him. However, Rogers has been battling injuries this spring.
“He’s off and on. Every once in a while he’s doing great, then he gets a little injury and has to back out of some races,” Coleman said about Rogers. “I’m hoping for a great season for him. I would love to have the competition, when we get down to state. Being able to go 1-2 with someone in my family has been great.”