Evart's Tea ready for end of season meets

EVART – Jessica Tea tied for fourth as a freshman in last season’s state finals at 5-3 and likes her chances to do very well when she returns to state on June 2 at Jenison for the Division 4 track & field meet.

Evart was in Division 3 last year but this season is the largest Division 4 track school in the state. At regionals last week, Tea gave Evart an individual title in the high jump at 5-4.25, a career high.

Her 400-meter relay team was second. She also set a qualifying time of 52.64 in the 400-meter dash. So Tea will be in three events at the state meet.

“I was happy in the high jump,” Tea said. “Usually, I kind of psyche myself out when it gets so high,” Tea said. “But when I jumped Saturday, I didn’t realize I was going at 5-4 ¼.”

Tea thought she was jumping at 5-2 and discovered after she cleared the 5-4 1/4 mark that it was higher than she thought.

“I was really happy,” Tea said. “I was able to get the school record too.”

The previous school record was 5-4.

Looking ahead to the state finals, Tea is hoping to take first in the high jump and beat the 5-4 1/4 mark. As the second leg in the 400-meter relay, she hopes to help the team place in the top eight. As for the 400, she’s not getting her hopes up too high.

“I barely qualified in that,” she said.

Having been in the high jump last season, Tea expects that to be a helpful factor this year.

Evart will be in the Pioneer meet at Top Taggart Field Friday night, a factor that Tea hopes will prepare her for the state finals. Anything at state less than a top three spot, higher than what she got last season, would be a disappointment, Tea admitted.