TOMS RIVER — When Kayla Van Lenten is patrolling center field this spring for Eastern Christian and stealing a base a game for the Eagles, she’ll be forgiven if occasionally her attention wanders to the track, especially if there’s a high jump going on.
The junior was the only North Jersey winner Friday night in the Non-Public A and B state championships at the Bennett Center, winning the Non-Public B high jump when she cleared 5 feet on her first attempt.
“This gets me to the state Meet of Champions [Feb. 23] and I’m really excited about that,” said Van Lenten, who went to the state Meet of Champions as part of the Eagles cross-country team in 2010 and 2011 but had never made it indoors. “I really love softball and we have a really good team, but this has been great for me, too.”
“My event coach [Bill Sharlow] had heart surgery this week and wasn’t able to be here,” said Van Lenten, who cleared 5-2 this season. “It wasn’t my best meet of the year, but it was one I won’t forget.”
While Van Lenten was the only winner from North Jersey on Friday, more than a dozen girls qualified to advance.