It’s been about five years since Mike Davis met Quincy Scott. It came at a Clark County track meet when Davis was in his first season as a volunteer coach with Springfield High School.
“(Quincy’s) dad came up to me and said he wanted to introduce me to his son. He brought this skinny, shy kid over to me,” Davis said. “He said this kid is going to be a good long jumper.”
»RELATED: Wednesday’s high school scoreboard
»RELATED: Wednesday’s high school roundup
It wasn’t long before competitors around the state learned his name, too.
Scott, a two-time OHSAA outdoor state qualifier and 2017 indoor state champion in the long jump, has exceeded all expectations. And that’s saying something for an athlete who has leaped a career-best 23 feet, 11.5 inches. That effort came at the Division I state meet last season where he finished second.
On Wednesday, Scott achieved another superlative. Surrounded by family, friends, teammates, coaches and school staff, among others, Scott signed his national letter of intent to compete for Tiffin University next fall. The Dragons are the two-time defending NCAA Division II national champions.
“He is a fine young man that has never complained. He has a great attitude,” Davis said. “He’s never down on his teammates and always encourages him. He’s going to be a great addition at Tiffin University.”
Scott, who also drew interest from Big Ten programs like Ohio State, Indiana and Nebraska, chose Tiffin in part for its family atmosphere. Those two national championships are nice, too.
He started running track in the sixth grade and even though his father, Randall, was a 20-foot jumper at Springfield North, Scott didn’t get serious about the event until his sophomore season. He finished fourth in the indoor state meet and seventh in the outdoor state meet and realized his potential.
“That right there lit a spark,” said Scott, who was already beating his dad’s best marks as an eight grader. “I think (my sophomore) year I started wanting it instead of just thinking about it. That was also the first year I went to state and that meant a lot to me.”
His two main goals remaining in high school are to break the Springfield school record of 24-6 and win an outdoor long jump state championship to match his indoor title as a junior. He finished second at the outdoor state championship last year by 3.5 inches.
“I’m a senior so the only option is to win. During the (2018) indoor season I was a little devastated I didn’t win state. I already have one gold medal from the (2017) indoor season so it’s time to let other people win,” Scott said, flashing a big smile he doesn’t often let show.
Scott is quiet but confident. His somewhat shy demeanor might come off as standoffish or cocky to those that don’t know him. But talk to him for a few minutes and they quickly learn that’s not the case. His introverted personality is a perfect fit for the long jump.
“For 10 or 11 seconds everything goes blank,” Scott said. “As soon I step on the runway I look down there and everything that’s going on just goes away. It’s just me, the board and the feet.”
“What you see is what you get,” Randall Quincy said. “He might crack a smile but he’s not going to give you a big smile. But when he puts those spikes on his mentality is, ‘This is mine. You have to come take it.’ … He’s going to do what he has to get to the next level.”
During the signing ceremony Davis told the crowd, “Don’t be surprised if you look up one day and he’s jumping 26 or 27.” If he does, that could land Scott a coveted spot at the USA Track and Field outdoor championships and a shot at qualifying for the Olympic team. For comparison, this year’s requirement to qualify for the outdoor championships is 26-08.
“The Olympics. That’s my No. 1 goal,” Scott said. “Man, if I was there – even if I didn’t make the Olympic team – just everything that I worked for has brought me to that moment to try out for the Olympic team, that would make me happy.”
Don’t count Scott out, either. There were those who told him the only way he would get an athletic scholarship to college was through football. As a senior he intercepted three passes for 77 yards as a defensive back. But Scott made a leap of faith and stuck with the long jump.
“It did hurt me a lot. I sat and thought are they right? Is this something I’m going to be good at?” Scott said. “I took that and kind of stuck that in the back of my head and remembered what they were saying. That was my go-to when I worked.
“If anybody has a dream of running track in college the only thing I can tell them is you never know what can happen. I can’t tell them it’s going to happen. But one thing I will tell them is if they work and put their dedication into what they want everything will be good. I didn’t think I’d be here on this day signing with Tiffin to go and do what I love.”