Back on Track

Alexus Yale , staff

Max Neal: The Frank Lay, 2021 Long Jump Legend  

At the 40th annual Frank Lay Invitational, events included short distance, long distance, throwing events and jumping events. Max Neal, 12, competed at long jump and triple jump, but long jump is his preferred event.  Since Neal is the best long jumper on the team, he mainly competes at Invitationals against athletes from Santa Rosa, Escambia and Okaloosa counties.  The Frank Lay Invitational was Neal’s only home invitational since this was his first year on the track team.  “I felt good and practiced hard for my first and only home meet,” Neal said. As a senior, Neal has the weight of making sure he is doing his best and making sure his jumps are perfect. Not only was Neal working for himself, but he was also helping the younger athletes on how to long jump so they can fill his shoes next year. At the end of the day, Neal placed 6th out of 19 long jumpers and jumped a best of 18-04.25 feet. “Overall, I felt like I did the best I could do for my team,” Neal said.