Mark Schmetzer reports:
Mason senior Kaeleigh Warfield probably won’t be continuing her hurdle career when she leaves for college next fall.
She’ll be too busy jumping out of airplanes, indulging her interest in martial arts – and preparing to serve her country.
Warfield, who describes herself as “pretty averagely good” in her events, will enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she plans to major in physics and minor in Chinese while competing on the academy’s skydiving and Jiu-Jitsu teams.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll get on the skydiving team,” said Warfield, whose first of her even dozen jumps was a 16th birthday present to herself. “I always wanted to fly. The Jiu-Jitsu team will be a little more competitive.”
Warfield outlined her plans during the second of three rain delays at Friday’s Rod Russell Mason Invitational at Atrium Field at Dwire Stadium. She and her classmates from the Comet boys and girls teams were honored before the finals, those ceremonies finishing just before a thunderstorm formed and produced lightning that delayed the meet.
The meet was delayed by lightning for a third time at 9:17 p.m. and then cancelled. Ohio High School Athletic Association rules mandate events be stopped for 30 minutes from the last lightning sighting.
The event serves as a final tuneup before next week’s league meets and the following week’s district action. Mason’s “A” team was leading the girls meet through seven events. Huber Heights Wayne was leading the boys standings through six events.
There is no makeup date.
Warfield always has been motivated and driven, said her mother, Jennifer.
“She was born holding her head up,” she said. “She went from crawling to walking in two weeks. She’s always been that way.”
Kaeleigh Warfield, 17, has been interested in the military for years, she said. She recently learned it might be somewhat hereditary after seeing photos kept by her grandmother, Sandy Bloemer.
“There were pictures of guys in uniform going back generations,” she said.
She also heard from her uncle, California resident Cash Murphy, a former Navy Seal who tried to steer her toward the Navy, but after attending summer seminars at both West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis, she chose the Army.
“I got into it and got an idea of what the life was like and really liked it,” she said.
Kaeleigh Warfield, who is carrying a 4.8 weighted grade-point average and earned her black belt in Tae Kwan Do a year ago, decided to major in physics because she knew she wanted to focus on a math-oriented subject that would leave her with options such as medicine. She’s been studying Chinese for about a year, she added.
“I’m really enjoying it,” she said.