First wasn’t good enough for junior Joey Quintero.
The junior long jumper claimed the conference title at the CIML meet on Friday, May 4 with a leap of 19 feet, 7.5 inches, but his personal best is more than a foot more at 20-8.
“I would’ve liked to have done a little better, at least 20 feet.” Quintero said.
It’s not surprising that he wasn’t at his best because it’s been three weeks since his last meet.
Quintero has been out with plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. The injury can put a runner out for weeks or months, depending on severity.
The treatment is mainly staying off the heel, but also rolling it out and icing it.
It doesn’t help that a long jumper lands on his heels. So, Quintero felt fine after running the 4x200-meter relay because he’s on the balls of his feet when he runs.
“He’s healthy for sprinting, we’ve just got to get him going with the jumping,” head coach Tyler Ketelsen said. “He’s technically very sound, very good mechanically with his in-flight mechanics and landing, just getting those reps in.”
Quintero has in mind that he needs to jump 21 feet, five inches to earn a trip to state. He believes he can get there if he can get his speed and height back up.
As a sprinter, Quintero’s working through speed workouts to get back in shape anyway. For height, he puts a hurdle in front of the sand pit to force him to jump higher.
Ketelsen says that despite Quintero’s injury, him and Michael Rowe remain the two most consistent performers for the Mason City boys’ track team.
“He still won tonight and that’s not his best distance,” Ketelsen said. “But that was kind of the goal tonight was to do like a dress rehearsal this week and just get his legs back under him after not jumping a couple weeks.”