By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Don’t refer to Dean White anymore as Dylan’s little brother.
The Oklahoma Bible Academy sophomore is making a name for himself as the top-ranked high jumper in Class 3A.
He had a career-best jump of 6-foot-6 in winning the Class 3A regional meet at Chisholm Saturday — not bad for someone whose highest jump coming into the season was six feet.
“It feels pretty good,’’ White said. “I almost got 6-6 at the last meet, so I wanted to get it at this one. I guess the key was picking up my feet when I was high enough.’’
White, who was seventh in last year’s 2A meet, was pumped up for regionals.
“I like having more competition,’’ he said. “You have more motivation to jump higher.’’
He attributes his improvement to growing two inches (to 6-foot-4) and weight training.
“It’s kind of weird,’’ White said. “I never had so much success at something before, so I don’t think of myself being that good. Now that I cleared 6-6, I want to go 6-8.’’
White may not be cocky, but he didn’t lack confidence. He had set a goal of 6-6 before the season. When he cleared 6-4 at Okeene, he realized he could achieve that goal.
“I’m definitely more confident in myself,’’ he said. “I just try to stay relaxed and don’t think about it too much and do what I know how to do. I know how to jump high enough, it’s just having enough form to get over the bar.’’
He’s a big of legacy in the event. His father, Ron, was a high jumper at Kingfisher High School and inspired White to try it.
“I didn’t do it in elementary school,’’ White said, “but I tried it in seventh grade and I was pretty good at it.’’
At 6-4, he’s an inch shorter than older brother Dylan, who is on OBA’s 1,600 and 3,200 relays and was one of the Trojans’ leading scorers in basketball.
Dad stands 6-foot-3. Mom is 5-foot-7.
“Being tall is definitely an advantage,’’ White said. “If you can get your hips to the bar, you’re supposed to be able to clear it.’’
There’s no sibling rivalry between the White brothers. Dylan is a runner and basketball player. Dean concentrated on track and didn’t play basketball.
“He does his thing, and I do mine,’’ said the younger White. “We cheer for each other. If he did the high jump, we might have a rivalry.’’
Still, it was good to win something on his own.
“It was always like Dylan did this or that,’’ Dean White said. “Track season balances things out between us. It’s been a lot of fun this year.’’
The younger White said not playing basketball helped his development in the high jump. He said he might play next season.
“My main goal is to get a scholarship to high jump somewhere,’’ White said. “I think all the hard work this year paid off.’’
Like most high jumpers, he does the Fosbury Flop, where he goes over the bar backwards.
“It just comes naturally to do that,’’ he said.
White said he benefits from having good facilities at OBA where Trojans coach Alan Ford puts him through some drills.
“He reminds me to jump first, and then do the form,’’ White said. “He doesn’t put too much on form.’’
He said it felt good to win regionals “but some of the guys didn’t jump their highest.’’
“I wasn’t too nervous,’’ White said about the meet. “I knew if I did my best that I should win.’’
To get to 6-8, White said he needs to keep his legs fresh and “make sure I jump high enough to get my form to carry me over.’’
He said he hasn’t been affected by OBA moving up from 2A to 3A.
“It’s kind of easier,’’ White said. “I’ve gotten most of my competition from the 2A jumpers in our area.’’
His biggest competition appears to be Sequoyah Tahlequah’s Nick Kingfisher, who cleared 6-4 at Cascia Hall Saturday.
“I’m going to be watching out for him,’’ White said.
In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with friends and watching basketball on TV.
He has a long-term goal of clearing seven feet before his high school career.
He has no special pre-meet rituals.
“I like the individuality of high jumping,’’ he said. “It’s a cool and different thing to do.’’
Especially if he’s wearing a gold medal after the state meet.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.