Owensboro Middle School athlete breaks national, state records during first year of track

Owensboro Middle School athlete breaks high jump records

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The Owensboro Middle School track and field team had a very successful weekend at states, placing second in the commonwealth. But, one team member broke some incredible records.

Ethan Pendleton is no stranger to sports, excelling in both football and basketball. In his first year running track, he made a pretty big impression.

“I was trying to break the state record," Pendleton said. "And then they asked me once I beat it if I wanted to go up higher. I said yeah. And then next thing you know I jumped over the national record.”

That’s right, in Pendleton’s rookie track season, he broke the Kentucky state and national high jump record for middle school athletes at a whopping 6′2″.

“Just a proud mom moment, you know," Ashlie Reynold’s, Pendleton’s mom said. "He just works so hard, since he was younger. He’s just a natural athlete. I just love it when he accomplishes all his goals.”

“I was like I don’t know if I can do it," Pendleton said of the moment leading up to the record-breaking jump. "But then I kept thinking to myself, I got this, this is nothing. Just look at it as the same height. And I went up to jump and I made it.”

That height would have put him fourth at the 3A state high school competition last year.

And Pendleton says it didn’t come easy. He put countless days in at the track and the gym.

“You got to work," Pendleton said. "It don’t come for free. It’s not easy.”

And for his family and friends, they are pretty enthusiastic.

“I’m his number one fan," Reynolds stated.

They say they’ll support Pendleton wherever he goes. And that means on the football field, basketball court and track next year at Owensboro High School.

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