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Pirates senior prepares to improve by leaps, bounds

No Pasco County girl came closer to winning a track and field state title in 2005 than Isaria Ranson.

Limited to two practices a week because of night school, Ranson finished third in the triple jump (36 feet, 2 inches) and fifth in the long jump at the Class 2A meet.

"The ride back in the car was a very good ride," Pasco coach Norman Graham said. "She was in rare form, just being happy."

Ranson, a senior, returns intent on claiming a title. But she'll have to overcome limited practice once more, again because of night school, which she is attending improve her academic standing.

Graham feels lucky to have her on the runway two or three times a week, but wonders how much better Ranson could be with more practice.

Jumping drills aren't necessarily the ones where she lands in a pit of sand. Ranson often jumps in place to strengthen her legs.

Graham's hope was to have Ranson increase her strength during the offseason.

She still has plenty of work ahead if she is to return to state.

"I think that would increase her distance," Graham said. "Until she gets a little more strength in her legs there's only a certain distance she can reach."

Ranson enjoyed her personal best jumps at state. She also claimed the Sunshine Athletic Conference high jump title as well as SAC, district and region triple jump titles.

Her long jump went 17-8.75.

Graham attributed her longest jumps at state to a mix of adrenaline and better equipment.

"I think it increased her distance," Graham said. "A board with a little more spring gives you a little more. There was also just rising to the competition level.

"It was more like what they had at the collegiate level."

Contact Izzy Gould at (813) 909-4612 or