Girls Track

Westville's Jackson follows her mom into throwing events

2011-05-23T22:00:00Z 2011-05-24T04:17:14Z Westville's Jackson follows her mom into throwing eventsBy Jim Peters jim.peters@nwi.com, (219) 548-4363 nwitimes.com

When Amy Breyfogle watches her daughter Savanna Jackson toss the shot put and discus, she can't help but get a sense of deja vu.

The Westville throws coach finished third in the shot at the indoor state final as a junior at Apple Valley (Minn.) High School before a shattered knee cap sidetracked a promising future.

Jackson took her first step toward a similar destination by placing third at the Chesterton Sectional. She is Westville's first regional qualifier in five years -- Shawnna Ramer also made it in the 200 via a scratch -- and possibly its first freshman.

"She's a little further in the shot than I was as a freshman," Breyfogle said. "She and her sister (Elaine) both started in sixth grade. I started as a freshman. I remember being nervous going to state, and at sectional, all the nerves came back, watching them throw."

Savanna tossed a personal-best 34 feet, 4 3/4 inches to extend her season. She came into the meet undefeated in the shot and with one discus loss, but considering her competition included state champion Tori Bliss of Portage, third place worked just fine.

"I was so excited. I was very happy I could make my mom proud," Jackson said. "I was a little nervous, but I was like, I came this far, I know I'll be OK. I was happy I got to throw with (Bliss). She's amazing. I didn't expect to beat her. I feel really proud, representing my whole school, being the best at my school. It shows that we're not so small a school, that we've got good people, too."

Both Jackson girls attended a throws camp at Portage last summer, where they met Bliss.

"She's absolutely amazing to watch," Breyfogle said. "She has fantastic form and she's an absolute sweetheart. She's got the whole package. The girls were honored to be in her presence. They picked up a lot of pointers just by watching her."

Also Westville's first female cheerleader lifter, Savannah is blessed with her mom's physical blood lines.

"She's built a lot like I was," Breyfogle said. "She's got upper body strength like you wouldn't believe. Playing around in the yard, she hits like a freight train."

Savanna worked with the 8-pound girls high school shot in middle school and now trains with the 12-pound shot used by the high school boys, most of whom she outthrows.

"I thought I'd be better in the discus, but the shot came really natural," she said. "My plan was to throw 37 this year. I don't think I'm going to get it, but I WILL make it next year. I just focus on what I've been taught and how to do better."

While Savanna topped her mom by advancing as a frosh, she has a ways to go to match Breyfogle's personal best of 42 feet.

"She wants me to go farther," said Savanna, who wears her mom's old track shoes. "We have a very good relationship. We've got so much more to talk about now. We've gotten a lot closer."

Savanna is seeded ninth for tonight's Chesterton Regional.

"I don't think I'll make it to state this year," she said. "If I do, it would be amazing. I want to make it to nationals for high school before my career is over."

Breyfogle is optimistic about Savanna and all of her throwers.

"They're going to be producing big numbers, a lot of points for Westville track," she said.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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