Senior Exavion Harris attacks the Triple Jump event at the 6A Region IV Track Meet. Harris placed second in the event to qualify for the UIL State Track Meet.
Photo by Will Engleman/wkohanaphotography.com
Exavion Harris (left) is all smiles as the senior placed second in the Triple Jump to advance to the State Track Meet in Austin. Harris is the first male athlete at SMHS to qualify for state in years.
Photo by Tracy Harris
Exavion Harris hugs his dad Luther Harris following the triple jump event.
Photo by Tracy Harris
HARRIS HEADS TO STATE
Senior Exavion Harris had one goal in mind when heading to the Triple Jump competition at the Region IV Track Meet: Make it to State.
After falling just short his junior year, the drive to qualify for Austin has pushed Harris all year.
“It honestly helped me,” Harris said. “After being at Regionals last year and not making it, I had a bigger drive. It was personal that I had made it this far only to fall short.”
That drive was noticeable for Head Coach Marvin Nash as the two walked into Heroes Stadium, which hosted the Regional Meet.
“You see his focus the moment he walks in,” Nash said. “The other young man that qualified was the one who beat Exavion out at Regionals last year. So this was a great opportunity to not only get redemption but also prove to everyone that he is one of the more consistent triple jumpers in the state.”
On his drive, Harris kept it simple.
“It’s about giving everything 110% and putting in the extra work,” Harris said. “You don’t want to leave anything left on the table. You need to give everything you have.”
The drive Harris put in, not only during the season but the off-season as well, was noticed by his dad Luther Harris.
“You could see the determination and the hard work he was putting in,” Luther Harris said. “He was super focused. He was paying attention to his craft and telling me what he needed to work on. He was sitting there and saw it for himself, which was something he wasn’t able to do last year.”
Though Harris started off slower than usual, he eventually picked things up.
“Going into Friday, I started off slow,” Harris said. “But through every jump, I was getting warm, and extending my phases a little bit. I was also getting a little faster on my runway speed which helped me.”
Being able to focus on the now is something Nash said he noticed in Harris since the beginning of his track career.
“The one thing I learned from Exavion since his freshman year is that he stays very calm in the moment,” Nash said. “He doesn’t waste any emotion on anything else except what is happening right then and there. You can tell he needed one really big jump to nab that second place spot in the finals and he got it.”
That big jump needed to be longer than 45 feet, 4.25 inches.
Harris cleared the mark by an entire foot jumping 46 feet, five inches.
“At first it didn’t hit me until later,” Harris said. “When it did hit, I was so excited. It was ‘I did it. I finally made it to State.’ I put San Marcos on the map. It was one of my goals, so being able to reach it and having a chance at placing while getting a medal.”
Placing second in the triple jump. Harris completed his goal – one few athletes have ever accomplished – by qualifying for the State Meet.
“It means everything to him,” Nash said. “He doesn’t show a lot of emotion so he is always that stoic figure. But that big smile after he got that last jump solidified the second place spot and started to grow. That is him personifying what a Rattler is. Showing hard work, being consistent, and being there every single day. He never lowers the bar and always reaches his goals.”
Even Luther Harris couldn’t find the words to say.
“I was super excited for him,” he said. “It has been a goal of his to make it to state for awhile especially when he fell short last year. As soon as I heard that number, it was a full circle moment. I almost didn’t have any words to say because I was so excited.”
For Nash, Harris represents the best of San Marcos.
“There is no better face for the Rattler Track Program than Exavion,” Nash said. “He exemplifies what it means to be consistent. He is not the biggest guy in the world but he has the biggest heart which shows our Rattler athletes that it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish.”
As for Luther Harris, it proves that anything is possible when one puts in the effort and concentration.
“It just shows that hard work pays off,” Luther Harris said. “When you sit there, put your mind to it, and work hard, the sky’s the limit. You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to.”
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