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Chapman's way

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By Chris Cannon

ccannon@lafollettepress.com

Twitter: @ChrisCannon89

Kristin Chapman only knows winning.

For three straight years in high school, that was all she did, becoming Campbell County’s first three-time state champion.

Following her A-Sun indoor championship earlier in the year, Chapman did the same during the outdoor season, taking first in the high jump for East Tennessee State University.

“Going into the season, I didn’t know what to expect,” Chapman said. “I gained a lot of experience during the indoor season that prepared me for outdoor.”

However, it wasn’t all roses.

With scratches on some of her first jumps, Chapman thought the chance of winning was gone.

One 5-foot-7, all the other girls scratched, leaving the door wide open.

“I knew if I cleared on my first attempt, I still had a chance of winning,” she said. “Winning the indoor and outdoor conference championship was more than I expected in my freshman year.”

With all those victories under her belt, one would think she was able to simply relax and jump.

However, that isn’t the case for the now two-time A-Sun champion.

“I get nervous more now, than I ever did at state,” she said. “In high school, I knew my competition for the most part, and now, I’m competing against people I have never seen at places I have never been.”

Although her former coaches, Billie Anne Evans and Anne Browning, couldn’t make it to the outdoor championship, they were still supportive.

Text messages rang off throughout the day in support.

“They always know what to say,” Chapman said. “Sometimes, they say something funny that will ease the pressure, and other times, they say stuff that really makes me believe in myself.”

With all the success, the sky’s the limit for Chapman.

However, she knows she still has a lot of work to do.

“I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. My goal for next year is to make it past conference championships and go to regionals. I don’t know what I’m capable of yet. I’m just getting started.”