London Wooley juggles indoor track and basketball with success


London Wooley played a basketball game on Friday night and will be with her Thompson High girls’ basketball teammates next week when the Warriors begin play in the Class 7A Area 5 Tournament at Hoover High.

So what did she do on Saturday?

Wooley went out and showed she’s one of the top high jumpers in the state of Alabama. Wooley, a 5-foot-5 sophomore, finished in second place in the Class 7A girls high jump competition at the AHSAA Indoor State Track and Field Championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex. She finished with a top jump of 5 feet, 6 inches, which trailed only the 5 feet, 6 inches cleared by state champion Genesis Jones of Hoover.

“It was by the grace of God that I did it,” Wooley said. “I didn’t have any practice. I came out here and did my best jump of the season.”

During the winter season, most of Wooley’s time is taken up on the basketball court. She is a key part of a young team that improved steadily and closed the regular season with a win over Pelham on Friday. Mixing in track workouts has been difficult, at best, and probably more realistically described as impossible.

“I haven’t had any (track) practice, really,” Wooley said. “I try to go to practice after basketball but I don’t really get to make it. I just come out here and jump.”

Wooley did add that basketball workouts have helped her ability to jump.

This weekend marked her third event of the indoor season. In her first, she jumped 4 feet, 10 inches and she improved to 5 feet, 2 inches in her second competition. On Saturday, opening height was 4 feet, 8 inches and she made her first jump on the first five heights, including 5 feet, 4 inches. She failed to succeed on all three attempts at 5 feet, 6 inches.

How would she describe her day?

“It was amazing, I was just shocked,” Wooley said.

Eventually, Wooley will transition into outdoor track field. She also runs the 200 and 400 meters and is part of relay teams. For now, though, her focus switches back to the basketball court. Thompson plays Tuscaloosa County on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. at Hoover.

“I’ve got to get my mind focused and get right,” Wooley said. “It’s area, I know we’ve got to win it.”

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