Alexis Tackett recently broke a 34-year-old middle school record in a sport she says just gives her something to do.
The soccer and basketball standout surprised even herself when she soared 15 feet, four inches at the Hoosier Heritage Conference Middle School Track and Field Meet on May 15 in Pendleton. That broke the Shelbyville Middle School record by three-quarters of an inch — a record set in 1979 by Lisa Haskins.
“Long jump is something I started in sixth grade. I wanted to try something new,” said Tackett, who just turned 15 and will spend her summer working in the concession stand at the Meridian Park Aquatic Center in Shelbyville. “It was pretty cool to try and I thought it was fun.”
Tackett admitted she didn’t even place in the top eight at the 2012 HHC long jump competition, but she needed a goal and the record seemed attainable.
“I tried to whole entire season to get it,” said Tackett, who in a meet leading up to the conference championships reached 15 feet for the first time in competition. “That boosted my confidence even more.”
In her first attempt in Pendleton, Tackett sailed 15-4 to break one of the program’s oldest records. She failed to match the record-breaking effort in her final three jumps and finished as the meet’s runner-up.
“First one was all it took,” quipped Tackett.
Tackett’s teammate, eighth-grader Erin Diemer, finished third in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet.
The pair are half of the record-breaking quartet that finished off a successful middle school track and field season.
Diemer established the program’s pole vault record at 10 feet and could break the high school’s record early next season. Pole vault was not a contested event at the HHC Middle School Meet.
Danielle Lubbe finished second at the HHC Meet in the 1,600-meter run in five minutes, 40.33 seconds and broke older sister Alex’s record. Alex Lubbe recently finished her sophomore track and field season with an appearance in the 1,600 at the Shelbyville Regional.
In the boys’ conference championship, Todd Hughes won the 400 in 54.85 seconds to break Eric Clapp’s record of 55.78 set in 1996.
Evan Diemer was SMS’ other individual conference champion. He won the 100 in 12.02.
The Golden Bears finished fourth in the eight-team meet. Pendleton Heights edged Doe Creek and Greenfield-Central to win the team title.
Tackett and Diemer teamed with Kaitlyn Mills and ZaLeeya Martin to win the HHC’s 400 relay title in 54.63.
Diemer also finished second in the 100 hurdles (17.09).
Those finishes helped Shelbyville place third overall behind Pendleton Heights and Greenfield-Central.
While Tackett, the daughter of David and Trisha Tackett, spends her summer working for the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department and saving money to buy a car, she also spends most mornings at the high school where she will be a freshman when school starts up in August.
The girls’ soccer program under new coach Rachel Whipker is practicing at 6:30 a.m. Tackett follows that with strength and speed training followed by basketball workouts with new girls’ basketball coach Scott Larrabee.
“She knows she has to earn her spot,” said Trisha Tackett, the Recreation Director for the Shelbyville Parks Department. “She has to work hard for it and she knows that. That’s what it takes. All the early workouts and putting the time in… it’s a commitment.”
Tackett brings that same athletic dedication to the classroom where she is an honor roll student who dreams of attending Purdue University one day and studying to be a veterinarian.
“I love sports, but school is always a big thing,” reiterated Alexis.