High jumper Sydney Denham helps lead batch of Cardinals into OSAA championships; Grant, Wilson, others will send their best to state, too

Lincoln High senior Sydney Denham, who repeated last week as the Portland Interscholastic League girls high jump champion, was an accomplished horse/show jumper for years.

She stopped competing in that discipline before this spring, though, to focus even more on track.

With a career- and season-best clearance of 5 feet, 6 inches, she'll go to state ranked No. 1 in the Oregon School Activities Association Class 6A championships, which are Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field.

The key for Denham is staying healthy. Every year, she's battled shin splints. She jumped 5-4 in her first meet of the 2017 prep season. "I always start fresh — and not injured yet," she says. And she's in better shape than she was a year ago, when she was "kind of worn down" by the state meet and took third.

Lincoln co-coach Eric Dettman says it's impressive how Denham "just goes out and competes, rain or shine, shin splints or sore hamstrings or whatever. That's not necessarily something you can coach."

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