JOPLIN, Mo. – It didn’t take long for Donovyn Fowler to make school history.
“I thought it would at least take a few meets to get up there,” Fowler says, “I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.”
The Joplin High School junior won the long jump in Joplin’s first meet of the year last Thursday in Carthage – with a jump of 23 feet, 10 inches.
That mark smashes the previous school record (22 ft, 7 in) by 15 inches.
“We knew he was going to hit some big jumps this year,” says Joplin head track coach Brandon Taute, “We knew he would probably break that record, and break more records – but to see it in the first meet of the year, that was awesome to see.”
COVID-19 erased his sophomore track season in 2020.
Fowler is hoping to use this year to break more records and get the attention of college programs.
“Last season, I didn’t get that option,” Fowler says of impressing college coaches, “I’m really trying to make the most of the opportunities I’m getting right now.”
“Last year as a sophomore, we were hoping to have a big season for him,” Taute adds, “We lost that season, and so I think he’s kind of hungry and he’s ready to make up for that lost time.”
While he’s already made history – Fowler wants more.
“His goals are bigger than right here (in Joplin),” Taute says of his junior standout, “Winning the Carthage Invitational isn’t the end of the road for him. He’s competing against people all across the nation. We’re comparing his marks week in and week out to people all over the nation.”
Fowler hopes to earn the opportunity to compete after high school – before turning around and helping the next generation break records of their own as a coach.
“I’m trying to take it as far as I can, whether it be long jump and triple jump, or just one of them,” Fowler says, “After that, I’m just going to try to help kids become the best jumpers that they can be.”