It wasn’t planned, but Cameron Stanton gave herself an early Christmas present this month.
She accomplished the best long jump of the season by a female high school athlete in Suffolk County and New York State and one of the best in the nation.
The Greenport High School senior leaped 18 feet, 1 inch at the Section XI Girls Crossover B meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Dec. 9. Her accomplishment was verified by ny.milesplit.com and athletic.net.
Stanton, who competes for the Southold/Greenport track team, jumped 17 feet, 9 inches last spring and had hoped to reach 18 feet by the end of the winter track season. She is well ahead of her goal.
“A lot of times when I’m shooting for a goal, it takes me until about the end of my season to hit that goal,” she said. “But to come right out and hit that goal in my second meet, it felt really good. So now I can shoot for even better. … I came in pretty strong, which makes me happy.”
The jump qualified Stanton for the New Balance Nationals in Boston, Mass., March 7-10.
Stanton, the 2022 Suffolk Times’ Greenport girls’ athlete of the year, said that it was “just a great feeling.”
“It’s always been something that I’ve aspired to,” she added. “When I was a freshman and sophomore at these bigger meets in Brentwood, I would see really good long jumpers, and they would have their Nationals backpacks and all their gear. I wanted to be just like them. It’s a very surreal moment that I get to now be that kind of person for the younger kids that are jumping.”
Not surprisingly, Stanton has become a mentor to the newcomers on the Southold/Greenport squad.
“One of my favorite parts of it is at practice,” she said. “I get to help all of like the kids that are just starting. We have a good amount of freshmen this year. So, I get to help them get into the long jump. They’re working through it and they’re doing pretty well.”
Head coach Tim McArdle called Stanton’s jump “fantastic.”
“I’m over the moon for her,” he said. “This is something that we have worked on for seven to eight months out of the year, for the last couple of years, for her to make enormous strides. We always believed that she could do it. To actually have it happen and unfold in front of our eyes, it’s pretty surreal, but just shows you the proof’s in the pudding. You put the hard work in, and your dreams can come true.”
McArdle noted that Stanton has been a standout multi-sport athlete — she scored a team-high 18 goals and added 8 assists for the Mattituck/Southold/Greenport soccer team — and in the classroom.
“I’m so impressed by her whole body of work, everything from how she plays on the soccer field, to her work ethic in practice, to her academics where she excels,” he said. “It’s how she goes about her daily business and how she wants to get better every day. She puts in the work in the offseason, whether it’s strength training or agility training. … She wants to be the ultimate competitor.”
Stanton returned to SCCC last Saturday to compete in another girls’ winter track meet. She registered a winning leap of 17 feet, 8 inches in the long jump. She also won the 55-meter high hurdles in a personal-best 9.05 seconds, third in the county.
She wasn’t the lone Greenport/Southold athlete to excel on Saturday. Senior Olivia Misiukiewicz won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches.
Stanton realizes that improvements in any track event don’t happen overnight. It comes in increments.
“I just want to take it a little bit at a time, keep it manageable,” she said.
With 18 feet out of the way, she now wants to reach 18 feet, 6 inches indoors. “If I hit that goal, my goal for outdoors would be 19 feet,” she said.