VSU's Taylor completes trifecta in Outdoor Track and Field
June 3, 2010
Entering this season, Virginia State University's Hoova Taylor (Tappahannock, VA) set his sights on winning a National Championship and accomplished that on Saturday May 29 at Johnson C. Smith's Irwin Belk Track Complex. In the men's high jump competition, Taylor overcame poor weather conditions and cleared 2.19 meters (7' 2.25") to win the event after a marathon of jump offs.
Taylor is VSU's 8th Individual National Champion in Men's Division II Outdoor Track and Field. He also becomes Virginia State's first National High Jump Champion ever and is the most recent National Champion since David McFadden won the National Triple Jump Event in 1983. Taylor now has won the last three major events in the outdoor track & field season; CIAA Championships, Penn Relays, and NCAA Div II Nationals.
Each event in which Taylor has competed, he has dominated the competition. Taylor rose 2.13m (7' 0") in order to capture first place in the high jump event at the 2010 CIAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships beating the defending 2010 CIAA Indoor High Jump Champion, Maurice Hall of Saint Paul's College. Taylor then went on and won the 116th Annual Penn Relays by jumping an incredible 2.12m (6 ' 11.5").
Facing poor weather conditions competing in the high jump event at Nationals, the 6'5" Taylor still managed to finish victorious. Rain delays and some competitors slipping due to the wet track may have scared others, but Taylor focused on winning.
He seemed to be more technically sound and physically stronger than the other competitors on that day, jumping over seven feet for the fourth time this season and won the event at a measure of 2.19 meters (7' 2 .25").
Prior to the season, head coach Ernest Moss, encouraged Taylor to refine some of his basic techniques. Taylor joined a local gym at home during the summer to work on getting stronger and mastering key techniques in order for him to be the champion he is today. Getting his shoulders squared, getting his foot planted in the right place, and getting his mark more accurately were some things Coach Moss suggested he master. Taylor also had to be physically prepared for the tough indoor/outdoor track and field season. Coach Moss even had Taylor practicing grueling workouts with the sprinters to help him become a lot more stronger and faster.
Getting Taylor mentally ready, Coach Moss had to get him comfortable with jumping at a high level. They started at a height of 6'8", a height he was not accustomed to.
"Hoova had to break those mental barriers of starting at 6'8" and did so when he broke 6'11", beating the defending National Indoor High Jump Champion, Chris Copeland of Saint Augustine's College in the CIAA Outdoor Championships", Coach Moss said.
"Becoming the Men's National High Jump Champion may very well be Taylor's biggest accomplishment, but his greatest accomplishment is graduating and obtaining his degree in Fine Arts," Coach Moss relates.
Taylor has hopes of making the field at the U.S. Nationals later on this month in June.