Most seniors leave Temple with a prestigious degree under their arm and dreams to make their mark on the world.
When senior Edith Lewis graduates, she will be leaving with a little more than that.
When Lewis walks down the aisle on graduation day, she will leave with the satisfaction of setting a school record and an Atlantic 10 Conference record; a perfect compliment to a college degree.
Lewis set a new Temple and A-10 triple jump record twice with a 40’5″ jump at the A-10 Championships, and a 40’8″ jump at the ECAC Championships, both last month.
In the process, the senior from New Castle, Del., also snagged the A-10 Championships’ Most Outstanding Field Performer of the Year award.
But a modest Lewis refuses to take all the credit for her accomplishments.
“I have a really good coach that’s help me out as far as working on my drills and technique,” Lewis said.
“So this year I’ve done a lot better than I have previously. In triple I went 40′ 8″ which is my best ever.[And] I’m a consistent 18-foot long-jumper, which is [usually] pretty good.”
Lewis’ success can be attributed in no small part to the “unique” training regiment of first year jumping coach Eric Mobley.
Mobley stressed improving endurance and strength through a slew of running drills instead of engaging in jumping drills.
As with any kind of intense training, there’s always a price.
“There’s no better way to go out her senior year than to have the type of year that she’s having,” Mobley said.
“At the beginning of the season, we ran so hard,” Lewis said.
“There were times when we were dead tired and he would tell us to focus on technique.
But it was really hard.
But [the extra running] really did build up our endurance.”
Lewis says that her teammates’ support is also a big part of her success.
The teams’ unity and camaraderie ensures the continued achievement of the team as a whole.
“My teammates encourage me in every way possible,” Lewis said.
“At practice Jenee [Moore], and Jill, they push me as far as running and just making sure that I’m doing what I have to do.
It’s good to have teammates who care about you, and I care about my team mates, too.”
As one of the team’s captains, Lewis’ job is to push others to constantly do their best.
Co-captain Marirose Roach says that Lewis does more than her fair share.
“I know all the other jumpers are underclassmen so they really look up to her because she’s a good leader, and a great jumper,” Roach said.
“She’s had a lot of experience in it so you can go to her about anything. Also, she’s a good person.
She’s there for us all around.
And as a team member [she] excels, she sets a standard for other people to be better.”
Lewis is just as hard on herself as she is on others.
She realizes that while she is in a leadership position there are certain things that are expected of her.
When responsibility needs to be taken, she know that most times it will fall to her. But she does not let the added pressure get to her.
“As far as the A-10 goes I think a little more weight is set upon me because I m expected to score more points in the triple jump and the long jump,” Lewis said.
“I’m expected to get first place in the triple jump and place in the top three in the long jump.
I’m expected to do that. But its something I know I can do, so its not really extra pressure.
“Being a captain is not extra weight. I do what I normally do.
I still perform during track [meets] and still try to lead the team with the other two captains, Marirose (Roach) and Nicky (Nicole Porter), just the same way as it always has been.
It’s just that people can come talk to me if they need to or have a problem.
When it comes to ordering clothes we’d be responsible for that. Its not really an extra weight, its something that needs to be done.”
Before Lewis can walk down the graduation aisle with numerous accolades in tow, she and the Owls must look ahead to the Penn Relays, April 24-26.
Her strong overall performance has earned a berth in the Penn Relays Championship section in the triple jump.
Phillips is aware that this honor has been Lewis’ goal through her college career, and expects nothing but the best from his star jumper.
“In outdoors were looking for some real great things. If someone has a shot to qualify for the NCAA outdoors, it’s her.
She’s the one. Great young lady, great work ethic,” Phillips said.
“She’s a very versatile athlete, She’s done great in her grades, She’s one of the team captains, and we can’t say enough about her.
When you interview her you’ll find out that she a classy individual and a bright young lady.
We’re real proud of her.”
Calvin Gorrell can be reached at Cgorrell@temple.edu.