By Michael Kinney
For three years Yukon's Vernon Turner ruled the high jumps pits. Before ending his prep career with the Millers, he won three state championships and set a bevy of state and national records. That includes leaving a mark of 7-foot-6.
But now that Turner has moved on to the University of Oklahoma, that has left a vacuum at the top of the high jump mountain. One of the leapers looking to wear the crown as the best in the state is Edmond North's Chris Banks.
In his first meet of the season, Banks won the high jump at the Edmond Santa Fe Wolves Invitational with a personal best 6-foot-10 jump. His previous PR was set in 2017 at 6-foot-6 while a member of the Edmond Santa Fe track and field team.
Banks took time to sit down for a Q&A with MileSplit OK to talk about what to expect during his final season in high school.
MileSplit OK: How do you feel you performed in your first meet (ESF)?
Chris Banks: I felt pretty good. Real good today.
MileSplit OK: Coming into the meet, what were your expectations?
Banks: I just wanted to clear 6-foot-6 today. And I cleared more. I'm happy about it.
MileSplit OK: How did it feel to hit 6-foot-10 for the first time?
Banks: It felt real good, sir.
MileSplit OK: What was the key for you in being able to set the new PR?
Banks: Just jumping. Being able to jump. Coming out feeling good, relaxed.
MileSplit OK: You enter the season for the first time without Vernon Turner in the field. Do you think you have what it takes to take over his title as the best high jumper in the state?
Banks: It's going to be worth the try. I am going to try. I am willing to try. I am willing to work for it.
MileSplit OK: What do you need to do to become the best in the state?
Banks: Improve my approach, form, all of the above.
MileSplit OK: What goal have you set for yourself?
Banks: I want to hit at least 7-foot-2. That would be really big.
MileSplit OK: What do you think you will be able to take from your match-ups with Vernon Turner last year that will help you this season?
Banks: Just jump better than the last.