SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- White Plains High School's Thomas Johnson stretched out to leap of 47-feet, 7.75 inches Saturday to win the New York State High Schools and Federation outdoor triple jump championship at upstate Middletown High School. Johnson, a native of Sierra Leone who moved to the United States 11 years ago, placed second at the state meet last year as a junior and was determined to win the top prize as a graduating senior. "This title means a lot to me," Johnson said. "Last year was harsh on me as I lost it by two inches. Indoor this year I had my worst meet of the season at the worst possible meet. I told myself I had to redeem myself. I had to go out on top. With the help of my teammates, coaches and city I was able to do it." Johnson cited trainer Mike Mirabelli for playing a huge role in making sure he was healthy throughout the season and his teammates. "My teammate Tyler Ford kept me motivated as we pushed each other to do our best at each meet. He has the school record now," Johnson said. This win is the icing on the cake. I don't really know what to say right now as I am very excited and very happy. White Plains put its trust on me and I was able to deliver." The senior star competed in his last sanctioned meet and jumoed to a personal record on his first jump. Johnson heads for Temple University where he hopes to push himself to the 51-foot mark. "I have truly been blessed to have such a great support system," Johnson said. "Finally, this season was dedicated to my old athletic director Chip Salvestrini. I owed him one from last year but I fell short, so I had to keep up my end of a deal we had. He was a great guy."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.