ARDMORE — As it turns out, there's more than one leaper in the Shepard family.
The signature moment of Sterling Shepard's freshman season as an Oklahoma football player was captured in photographs of him jumping over the head of a Kansas State defender.
Well, little sister has some hops, too.
Shelby Shepard, a junior at Heritage Hall, won the long jump at the Class 4A state track meet at Ardmore's Noble Stadium Friday at 17 feet, 3 3/4 inches.
And her first phone call after receiving her medal was to her big brother.
“His junior year, he qualified for state in the long jump and was runner-up. I guess it's kind of in the family,” Shelby Shepard said. “Right after I finished, I called and told him that he got second, but I won. He gave me props though, doing the big brother thing. He's real supportive.”
Shepard only defeated Anna Newsome of Blackwell by 1/4 inch, and the winning jump came on her first attempt of the final round.
“There was a lot of tension waiting to see if it would hold up,” Shepard said. “I was hoping I could get a better jump, but I pulled it out.”
Shepard participated in track as a freshman, but played soccer as a sophomore. She returned this year and won the long jump at two meets before Friday.
“We all know it's a family of tremendous athletes,” Heritage Hall coach David Crynes said. “Shelby has just scratched the surface of her potential. She went out and added five or six inches to her best jump here today.
“As an athlete, if she gets in the weight room, she has the potential to be a Division I athlete.”
That has become one of Shepard's primary goals.
“Quitting track last year, I realized that was a dumb decision,” she said. “I realized track was for me. Now I'm gonna try to get a scholarship.”