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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA high jumper follows in footsteps of Olympian sister

    Arizona junior Jasmin Day leaps over the bar during the high jump competition at the Jim Click Shootout on Saturday at Drachman Stadium. Day, whose sister competed in the Beijing Summer Olympic Games, is one of the best collegiate high jumpers in the country.
    Arizona junior Jasmin Day leaps over the bar during the high jump competition at the Jim Click Shootout on Saturday at Drachman Stadium. Day, whose sister competed in the Beijing Summer Olympic Games, is one of the best collegiate high jumpers in the country.

    In late August, most college students are prepping for another semester in college. UA high jumper Jasmin Day was finishing up the last summer school session and packing her bags before departing for Beijing – the site of the 2008 summer Olympics.

    No, she wasn’t competing in the Olympics. Instead, she was going to support her big sister, Sharon Day, who competed for the United States in the high jump during the Summer Games.

    “”It definitely motivated me to work hard and continue to do what I’m doing now,”” said Jasmin Day. “”Watching (Sharon) was awesome. I was like, ‘I want to be here one day and be this good.’

    “”When we were out there, we did a lot of sightseeing,”” Jasmin added. “”We went to the Forbidden City and we went to the Great Wall. Oh my gosh, the Great Wall is crazy. It’s so steep, it’s amazing how they built that.””

    Sharon finished a disappointing 24th out of 30 competitors, but said she was grateful just to be able to compete in the Olympics.

    “”It was pretty amazing. It was a great experience as far as competing on the international scale and there is way more to it than just competing,”” the Olympian said.

    Growing up in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Day sisters were like any other siblings, as they too had their ups and downs. Both went to Costa Mesa High School together for a year and competed together in cross country, volleyball, soccer and track and field. They were able to be on the same team because Jasmin made the varsity teams in all those sports in her freshman year.

    “”We were pretty much always together,”” Jasmin said. “”We really didn’t get along until she went to college, then we got a lot closer.””

    She admitted she was like any other sibling when their older sibling goes off to college.

    “”When they leave your like, ‘Ah man, you have to come back now,'”” Jasmin said of adjusting to her sister leaving for college.

    Sharon attended college at Cal Poly and was the 2005 NCAA outdoor champion in the high jump. Both sisters have competed against each other in numerous occasions, with a few coming in the national championship meets for indoor and outdoor seasons.

    “”It makes it more exciting knowing that she’s there,”” Jasmin said. “”She definitely gives me tips, so it’s always good to have her there telling me I can do it.””

    In the 2008 outdoor championships, the younger Day was faced with a bittersweet situation, as her sister went up against Liz Patterson – Jasmin’s teammate and roommate – for the national title.

    “”It was weird because I wanted both of them to do well and at the same time one of them had to lose,”” Jasmin said. “”It was sad for my sister who lost, and then it was like congratulations to Liz for winning a national championship in (her) sophomore year. But a month later my sister went to the Olympics, so it all worked out.””

    Sharon said she takes pride in setting an example for her little sister, knowing Jasmin looks up to her even though their schedule keeps them apart from each other.

    “”It makes me want to do better. It makes me want to set a good example for her, not only in sports but in life in general,”” the elder Day said. “”We train a little bit here and there. When we were home for winter break and when she came home for spring break a couple weeks ago she came to practice with me.””

    Sharon also thinks her younger sister is capable of following in her footsteps by making the U.S. Olympic team in the future.

    “”Every year she has steadily gotten better and better. I think she has the potential to jump high enough to make it,”” Sharon said. “”It would be pretty sweet to be in the Olympics together. I don’t know how many other sibling combos that made the Olympics at the same time, but it would be pretty cool.””

    Sharon is currently preparing for the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, this summer while her younger sister qualified for the outdoor regionals in the high jump with her effort at the Jim Click Classic on Saturday.

    “”I’m just trying to get back in the groove, because I didn’t really have a good indoor season,”” Jasmin said. “”I definitely want to get over that six-foot mark and really focus on perfecting my jump.””

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