Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WAVERLY — If you’ve watched Waverly senior Cody Remington jump, you know it’s a sight to behold.
Remington seems to fly through the air, effortlessly, after propelling himself off the springboard into the long jump pit.
Sometimes, it doesn’t even seem human.
Remington, who’s only participated in track for two seasons, will be competing at this weekend’s OHSAA Track and Field State Championships.
He qualified for the meet with a jump of 21-feet-10.75 at last week’s Division II regional meet. As he sets his eyes on Columbus, we caught up with him to discuss his favorite moments during his high school career, his relationship with coaches Byron Green and John Voorhes, his future plans and much more.
Question: First and foremost, can you tell me your reaction when you found out you had qualified for the state meet?
Remington: When I found out I qualified, it was just a huge relief off my shoulders. I wasn’t focused on winning, although that would’ve been nice. I was focused on just getting to state and to keep jumping. I was pleased with second place. Any place in the top four would’ve felt like first to me.
Q: I know your parents are so supportive of you in everything you do. What’s that meant to you throughout your career?
CR: My parents are a huge part of my life. If you don’t know, I was adopted from Haiti. They’re my biggest fans. Seeing them support me in everything I do, not just in sports but in life, has been something I love. I’d do anything for them and I know they’d do the same for me. I love them to death.
Q: You’ve got one last chance to prove something this weekend. What are you goals in columbus?
CR: My goal is to, really, just place. Even if I don’t, I made it this far. Of course, I have a distance in mind on my jump though. 23 feet is the goal and if not, I’m good. I’m just happy to get as far as I have.
Q: Looking back over your track and basketball career, can you pinpoint one moment in each that stands out above the rest?
CR: That’s tough. In basketball, I’d have to say [Cobe Marquez’s] buzzer-beater against McClain. I fouled out and I was squatting beside the bench. I looked at Easton [Wolf] and said, ‘If he misses this free throw, we’re going to win the game.’ Then, all of the sudden, Cobe made a crazy half-court shot. Just to see our crowd and our pep section’s reaction was priceless. That’s exactly why we do it. In track, it would have to be breaking that record. I went for my first jump and broke it with 22-feet-7, then went and got 22-11.5. It was crazy because I heard the crowd react to it and heard coach scream. It was something special I could share with coach. I’ve only been doing track for two years and he’s turned me into a state jumper. He’s an incredible coach and an even better person. He wanted the record as bad as I did. He gets the credit on that.
Q: Waverly won the SOC II title (again) this year. How special is that for you group and how cool is it you get to go out on top?
CR: Winning the SOC four years straight is crazy. People told us we couldn’t and so we all took that and used it as fuel. Our coaches have never had it done before and for us to get them one is special. After we won, we drenched coach in water. We ran to do our victory lap so he couldn’t get us. To stay on top isn’t easy at all. You have to work hard to get on top, and work even harder to stay there. We wanted it bad. We did the work, and we got it.
Q: It seems like throughout the year, you just got better and better. What’s been the key to your continued improvement?
CR: Easily my coach. Every day, he pushes me to get better. We’ve developed a close relationship over the two years and I listen to every word he says. If there’s something I need to fix, I do it. He tells me all the time, ‘It doesn’t matter how far you’ve jumped or what your PR is. It matters how much you want it in your heart.’’ He’s knowledgeable about it, too. He’s been doing this for 30-plus years. He’s taught me so well that I could coach somewhere right now (laughing). There’s stuff I didn’t know that was important or didn’t know it needed to be applied to jumping, but he showed me. All the credit really isn’t mine. It’s seriously on him. He’s an amazing coach and person. He’s one of my best friends. He’s family.
Q: Future plans?
CR: My college is still undecided, but I’m getting close to deciding. I want to be a high school teacher, in history and government, and coach. I want to be able to impact kids and show them people care for them and also have fun in my class. If we’re being honest, I think I’m going be a fun teacher. I also wanna become a Pastor as well. I’ve preached four times already and I love it. Seeing and helping people get a relationship towards Christ is one of the most important things I can do. That’s really why I’m here. I believe God brought me to America for something great and this is a part of it. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds it. I’m excited to see where all this and my experiences take me.