NEW ALBANY — Javen Reeves came into his senior season as an accomplished high jumper. In fact, he was the defending sectional champion.
However, he had never jumped higher than 6-feet, 4-inches in his career.
In 2014, he never went lower than 6-6 — and he went as high as 6-11 3/4 to set a Corydon Sectional record.
On June 7, in his first state finals appearance, Reeves cleared 6-9 and became the second New Albany high jump state champion. He was also the second Bulldog track state champion in the past three years.
“I came into this season with a different mindset,” he said. “Before my sophomore and junior seasons, I came in overconfident even though I really hadn’t done anything. I humbled myself and we changed up my steps and the rest is history.”
During the 2013-14 school year, Reeves worked with high jump specialist Jane Wehmiller on form and meet preparation. The result was obvious from Day 1.
“Jane Wehmiller’s coaching really helped him, “ New Albany head coach Mark Peterson said. “She took him from one level to the next level. I think it was a matter of hard work and good coaching from Jane.”
“My sophomore and junior year I did my own thing,” said Reeves, who was also a first-team All-Hoosier Hills Conference and News and Tribune second-team All-Area basketball player. “Before this season, I talked to [Wehmiller] about potentially getting a scholarship. We worked hard and it paid off.”
Wehmiller said Reeves had the potential to be a state champion all along.
“We started in August and September cleaning up his technique,” she recalled. “He wasn’t playing AAU basketball during track season and that made a huge difference. He was a lot fresher. He had been splitting time the last two years.”
Reeves got the scholarship he was seeking. In the middle of the season, he was approached by Louisville to continue his track and field career as a Cardinal. He will join former Bulldog basketball and track teammate Jermaine Parrish — the 2012 100-meter champion — on the Louisville squad.