BOYS TRACK

E.C. Central high jumper Lloyd aiming to reach new heights

2013-05-15T18:45:00Z 2013-05-16T14:54:05Z E.C. Central high jumper Lloyd aiming to reach new heightsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
May 15, 2013 6:45 pm  • 

EAST CHICAGO | You think about what could've been with East Chicago Central cloud seeder Kenneth Lloyd and you shudder.

The first athlete in school history to letter in four sports — baseball, basketball, football and track — Lloyd stands only 5-foot-10 with the high jump his specialty.

Now comes the scary part.

The Cardinals had five meets scratched this season due to lousy weather. And Lloyd has had to compete with a nagging case of "jumpers knee" in his left leg since early April.

Yet, it hasn't stopped him from clearing a school-record 6-10 at the Hoosier Indoor State Relays and 6-8 outdoors at the Hobart Little 5.

"I've been praying for warm weather," Lloyd said. "I just think about what I do in cold and rainy weather, jumping 6-7 and 6-8, so imagine when it gets to 80 degrees.

"There's gonna be trouble when it gets there."

Lloyd is being heavily recruited by Ohio State, Indiana State, Wichita State, Loyola and Southern Louisiana universities.

He finished in a five-way tie for sixth-place at state as a junior, clearing 6-4. It wasn't nerves or his form that cost him, but his lack of patience while having to wait so long between jumps.

"I'm definitely used to it now. I'm not making any excuses this year. Whatever the weather is, I'm going out to win," said Lloyd, who hasn't been beaten yet heading into tonight's Highland Sectional.

Lloyd is just "one of the guys" around school and that keeps him humble. He credits his mother, Roshanta, his uncle Robert Buggs, and his choice of friends.

"A lot of people really don't know what I do. They hear it on the (school) announcement and give their congrats but they don't know about my success," Lloyd said.

"I keep it like that. I don't go around like 'I'm ranked and I jumped this or that.' If they find out, they find out. I'm just a regular kid."

What makes Lloyd's exploits more amazing is that he didn't come out for track until midway through his sophomore season.

Imagine if the weather had cooperated this season and the knee was at 100 percent.

"He would be consistent at 6-10 and 7 foot," coach Maurice Phillips said.

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