MURFREESBORO — Bolton Lady Wildcat junior Dionna Warner entered the Middle Tennessee State University Track Stadium with the 10th best qualifying high jump.
But before last Thursday’s Class 3A State High Jump unfolded, Warner knew she had a secret weapon of a strong track pedigree on her side.
With her hitting the height of 5-feet, 2-inches before Morristown-West senior Hannah Beth Moorhouse, Warner stood on the top podium as the state champion in the high jump.
“One girl was 6-foot-1,” Warner recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ But it doesn’t really intimidate me. It’s not like I have a whole lot of body to get over the bar.
“I thought I would place probably in the top eight. But no way I could have won it.”
Warner found her way to the top spot with the 5-foot-2. Entering the event, Warner hit the mark of 5 feet. Moorhouse was the favorite nailing a 5-foot-4 in sectionals.
It seemed as if Warner’s genetics kicked in at the state meet.
Her mother, Stacey Warner, was a pentathlon athlete jumping 5-foot-10 in the high jump, and her father, Dejuan Kimble, did sprints.
“I worked so hard to get here,” Dionna said. “I’ve only done track for two years. This is my second year and my second time at state. And I won and I’m so happy.”
The young track athlete now has a chance to repeat next year. But for now she’s just happy to return a gold medal back to Bolton.
“This is so amazing,” she concluded. “I can’t believe it.”
Written by Thomas Sellers Jr., special to the Express.