COVINGTON, Ga. — Elaina Housworth is a Region 3-AAAAAA champion and state qualifier. She’s a sophomore with a list of Division I schools she wants to run track for one of these days.
Yet, she’s still not satisfied. It isn’t that she’s hard to please — rather, she’s working hard to meet an ultimatum given to her by her parents.
“I know my parents always tell me they’re not going to pay for college for me, so they let me know if I want to go to college, I’ve got to figure out another way,” Housworth said. “That means, I know I have to put in the work so I can go to colleges, meaning the colleges that I want to go to, and not the colleges they pick.”
Her college tastes are high-class: Oregon, LSU, Arkansas, Kennesaw State and other Division I schools are what she’s after. And so far, she’s off to a good start in creating the kind of body of work that will entice such schools to come calling.
Housworth followed up her state-qualifying freshman season at Alcovy with a sophomore season that saw her winning meets, region titles and setting regular PRs. The uptick in success has whet her appetite for more.
That’s why her region-winning 35-foot, 10-inch mark in the triple jump a couple of weeks ago was little more than a yawn for her.
“I won region in the triple jump with that jump, but it wasn’t that good,” she said. “My PR is 36-6. I did that at the Rome meet, so even though it’s very accomplishing to win region and I was excited, I still felt like I could’ve done better. I still accepted it because, hey, it’s better than nothing.”
That confidence exuding through her is a little bit different than her mood coming into the state meet last year. Housworth qualified as a long jumper. She didn’t take home a medal, but walked away as the 10th best long jumper in Class AAAAAA.
Things are different this year, though. And she has another year of experience coupled with some specified tutoring to thank for it.
“Because I went to state last year, I kind of know the ins and outs of it all,” she said, “but as a freshman, I was so nervous I couldn’t focus. This year I’ll be more comfortable and confident in what I’m doing.”
Much of that she attributes to the tutelage of her jumps coach Brian Alexander. Housworth has been jumping since her time at Veterans Memorial Middle School, but it wasn’t until this season that she feels like she got that next-level, solid instruction she’s always wanted.
“I didn’t have a coach for jumping specifically last year,” she said. “So I was pretty much self-taught. And I did a good job teaching myself, but with coaching it’s even better. Coach Alexander taught me different and new techniques, and it’s show a lot. So if I didn’t have that coaching, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”
Her goals are lofty. She says she wants to add five inches to her personal best triple jump mark. But Housworth is the kind of person only gets more motivated to push the envelope after achieving some form of success.
“If I can get at that high 36 (feet), such as a 36-11, then that means I can get to a 37,” she said.
That competitiveness is a bloodline trait, as she says her entire family has always been active in sports. Now she wants to give them all something more to be proud of.
“My goal is to place in that top eight and then bring that state medal back home,” she said. “I feel like I can do it. I’ve prepared myself and I’m getting into that mentality that I can do it and be the best.”