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Marble Falls high jumper Kason O’Riley sets the bar by clearing 7 feet

Marble Falls High School senior high jumper Kason O’Riley

Marble Falls High School senior high jumper Kason O’Riley is the fourth high jumper to clear 7 feet nationally this year. Photo by Marble Falls head track coach Chris Schrader

The reaction said all.

After Marble Falls High School senior high jumper Kason O’Riley cleared 7 feet at the Round Rock McNeil Relays on March 13, he rolled backward on the mat and immediately stood up with a clenched fist.

It wasn’t because he had won the event again — there was little doubt of him doing that — it was because his flop set a new personal best, which ties the Mustang with four other high school high jumpers who also cleared that bar, no pun intended.

“It was a little windy; it played a factor,” O’Riley said. “I thought the bar was going to fall off. All I could think was ‘clear the height.’ I felt my calf skim the bar. I threw my legs up. It was a bit of a blur.”

O’Riley said he didn’t enter the competition until the bar was set at 6-4. By then, the other high jumpers had finished competing. His teammate, senior Lance Long, captured silver at 6-0. 

After he cleared 7-0, O’Riley asked the bar be raised 2 inches.

“I barely missed it,” he said. “I got high. It was insane. I got so excited when I was in the air that I leaned too early.”

As a result, the bar came down. 

Thinking back to the events of March 13, O’Riley said he wasn’t surprised he cleared 7-0.

“Honestly, I had a feeling,” he said. “I was eating breakfast (at Chick-fil-A), and I looked at my mom and said, ‘Today’s the day.’ She said, ‘I think so, too.’ I was jumping higher, and it ended up being my day.”