Just after press time last week, it was learned that Booneville sophomore Brooklyn Zarlingo would be participating in the Meet of Champions not only in the long jump which she won at the 3A State track meet, but also in the pole vault, her favorite event.
The catch was both events were taking place at the same time. So Zarlingo, after clearing 9’ 6” in the pole vault, had to hustle over to the long jump for her three attempts.
The first try was an obvious scratch but on the second one, it appeared Zarlingo had nailed the board perfectly and she jumped well into the pit. However, the judges ruled that jump to be a scratch as well and when she also fouled on her third attempt she was out of the competition with no distance recorded.
It was estimated that Zarlingo had jumped well over 17 feet, which would have placed her in the top five.
That done, Zarlingo went back to the pole vault area, but missed on three attempts at 10 feet. But her cleared height of 9-6 was good enough for a tie for 8th place.
Zarlingo is believed to be the first female Booneville athlete to qualify in two events at the MOC, and the first BHS trackster of either gender to do so since Matt Heissler qualified in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles in 2002.
The appearance at the MOC was the culmination of an outstanding athletic year for Zarlingo. In addition to being high point at four different meets, winning four events at the district track meet and the long jump at state, she was All-District and second team All-State in softball and honorable mention All-District in volleyball.
She is a member of the CheerCats and plays club volleyball with Fort Smith Juniors on the 16-National team. And with this busy schedule, Zarlingo is also an honor student.
With two years still to go, the horizon seems unlimited for the 5-1 sophomore. She has had one of the best spring semesters of any Booneville athlete in recent memory, and she has just begun to make her mark.