Sophomore jumper Courtney Avery on Friday, April 17, 2015. Avery holds the all-time Lehigh records for indoor and outdoor track and field. (Emily Hu/B&W Photo)

Sophomore Courtney Avery finds success in the high jump


Courtney Avery already has a long list of accolades at Lehigh, and she’s just a sophomore.

Avery competes for Lehigh’s track team and is the top high jumper. Avery has already set both the indoor and outdoor high jump record for Lehigh and has had a sensational career so far. Her indoor record stands at 1.75 meters and her outdoor at 1.76 meters.

“It’s really exciting to hold the school record, and it was one of my main goals to accomplish when coming to Lehigh, so now I just want to continue breaking it.” Avery said.

Avery’s high jump career began when she was in high school. While playing for the basketball team, her coach, who also coached track, said that she was a good jumper and should try out for the track team. She took his advice and what her coach spotted was correct, as she has become the best female high jumper Lehigh has ever had.

Some of the other accolades she has received during her Lehigh career include 2014 Indoor Patriot League Championship Rookie of the Meet and also six-time Patriot League Rookie of the Week.

Other than natural athletic ability, Avery credits her success to her mindset.

“I think some of my keys to success are just staying focused on what you want to accomplish and staying positive when things don’t always go my way because I learn something new that can help me in future meets.” Avery said.

This season Avery has placed her focus more on the technical side of her jump. She is looking to fix things in her approach and jump, as well as improve upon her numbers from last year.

Moving on from high school to college is a tough transition to make for athletes. There are many more things to deal with both academically and athletically.

“The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is getting used to competing at much larger meets, in terms of girls competing and people watching.” Avery said.

Avery has had no trouble with that this season as she has posted good numbers again. She competed in the Patriot League Championship May 1-2 and posted another impressive 1.75 meter jump, just .01 shy of tying her record.

Avery has set a high bar for herself, but wants to accomplish more in the coming years.

“One of my main goals for this season is to qualify for the second round of Nationals in Oregon,” Avery said. “In addition I would like to break the school record again and to jump over six feet before the end of my college career.”

Avery will compete May 15-17 at the ECAC Championships in Princeton, New Jersey.

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