Victoria Arnold enjoyed a successful season last year by any measure. She hoped to make even better of it this year.
During her junior year, Arnold – Tori, to her friends – participated in all the jumps for Shadle Park: high, long and triple.
She excelled at the latter two disciplines, taking first in the long and triple jumps at the Greater Spokane League championships before placing fourth in the triple and 11th in the long jump at the State 3A meet in Tacoma.
“With the returning girls, she was coming in at No. 2 in the state for triple jump this year,” Shadle Park track and field coach Nathan Clayton said.
“She’s one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve had as a coach,” added Clayton, who took over as boys and girls coach this year for the first time.
“Seeing everybody together (in the spring), I’ve just really seen how much more dedicated than just about every single student-athlete we have.”
Arnold is still relatively new to jumping; she just started her sophomore year. As a freshman, she participated in a couple of relay events, threw shot and even tried the pole vault.
“It wasn’t my favorite,” Arnold said of the pole vault. “Before I did track, I did 10 years of club gymnastics, so my coach just thought I’d be good at it – and I wasn’t very good.”
Her coaches suggested jumping and Arnold showed promise from the start, placing fifth in the long and triple in the District 8 championships her sophomore season in just her sixth meet for either.
“My coach just threw me in at the start, just because he wanted to beat Rogers, I think,” she said. “I ended up just taking to it and being decent. So then, last year I started doing long and triple and then I ended up getting pretty good.”
Last year, Arnold took seventh in the triple jump at the competitive Pasco Invite, behind five seniors, and set a personal best of 37 feet, 3/4 inches at state.
“I was looking forward to state (this year), because I thought I had a chance of winning,” she said.
Arnold enjoys the solitary nature of jumping.
“It doesn’t really make me nervous,” she said. “I didn’t like running because I just hated being at the starting line. But jumping, you kind of take your own time. And no one’s really watching you.
“So it’s almost like you’re competing against yourself versus everybody in the meet.”
Like most seniors, Arnold was disappointed about the pandemic shutting competition down this season.
“I was pretty sad that it got cut short,” she said. “But I’m doing track next year in college, so it’s not too bad. I’ll still have another season.”
Arnold will attend Spokane Falls Community College and plans to study business and perhaps pursue a career in real estate down the line.
“There were so many great athletes here in Spokane that were seniors that were going to make their mark in history and it all came to an end for them,” Clayton said.
Despite having college competition in the future, Arnold wishes she had a spring of memories to look back upon.
She and teammate Savannah Opap were slated to be team captains. Arnold regrets not getting the chance to be a senior leader.
“We were going to be the two main team captains and organize team dinners and stuff like that, lead warmups,” she said. “So I think that’ll probably be the thing I miss most, just kind of being a senior on a sports team.”
According to her coach, Arnold was destined to be a leader.
“Tori has been part of the team my four full years here, and she’s been a team captain basically all four years,” Clayton said.
“She’s that dedicated to the program and to the other athletes. Everybody looks up to her. She’s inspirational to everybody.”
Shadle Park senior roll call
Baseball: Colton Eickstadt, Shamus Kennedy, Zach Krotzer, Andrew Mellstrom, Braeden Metler, Chase Woolsey. Softball: Carley Bachmeier, Ariel Hall, Megan Lohr. Boys soccer: Kisle Bundrock, Jacob Rees, Trent Ripley, Jackson Davis, Dylan Tutt. Boys tennis: Ian Lochrie, Kaeleb O’Neall, Alex Sprague, Ethan Stalder, Khoi Truong, Sebasian Woodgeard. Girls tennis: Maggie Benjamin, Leanne Clark, Kylee Fuger, Kylee Greenfield, Savanna Kerr, Jordan Mackenzie, Emily Varecha. Boys golf: Isaac Hood, Chase Jensen, Trevor Jones. Girls golf: Hailey Kostenyuk, Mackenzie Hill, Chloe Sayas. Boys track: Ames Arbini, Xavier Atkins, Kevin Cons, Joshua Hill, Tyler Lehan, Kiefer McConnell, Eric Meyers, Ryan Niles, Sean Smith, Donovan Solis. Girls track: Victoria Arnold, Caitlyn Bristlin, Sofie Harris, Gracelynn Hemminger, Erin Jonkers, Savannah Opap.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.