Michael Madu

by | May 14, 2015 | Sports

By Greg Ford

Sports Editor

[email protected]

MURPHY — There are parts of the body that can make or break an athlete’s career.

When healthy, they give a person the ability to cut, jump and move with alacrity.

When not at a 100 percent, they can limit one’s chances of accomplishing anything on the field of play.

They are the knees, and throughout the history of sports, they, by far, have played the greatest role in cutting short an athlete’s career.

It was an injury to one of Michael Madu’s knees that had the Murphy resident and Plano East senior questioning whether he’d have a shot at making the 2015 state track meet after barely missing out in 2014. However, Madu battled through his rehabilitation and continued to perform strongly in the long jump and triple jump.

A little less than two weeks ago, Madu finally put full trust in his recovering limb and leaped his way to first place in the Class 6A, Region II triple jump, earning him a spot at state.

“Last year, I missed by a quarter of an inch,” Madu said. “That was really tough, but at the same time I (set a personal record), so I went into the offseason with a lot of confidence.”

He added, “I hadn’t trusted (my knee) the entire season until (regionals). I really went in and (gave 100 percent), and the result was good.”

That “good” was a personal-best mark of 49-00.50, which is the second-best leap coming out of regionals behind the defending state champ, Kerwin Roach of Galena North Shore (50-02.00).

Madu got to that point with a lot of effort, including working out this past December with his sister Jennifer, who won four gold medals at the 2012 state meet and is now competing at Texas A&M University.

“She was kind of the one who helped me overcome the hump, I guess,” Madu said. “I slowly started working out and slowly got back into shape.”

He added, “She herself was kind of hurt (foot), and having her there and knowing she was overcoming her own injury … She showed me things they do at A&M to ease the pain when you have an injury. That really helped, and knowing I had somebody else with me really helped.”

Now, Madu, who recently signed with Texas State University, spends his morning working out at McMillen High School under the tutelage of coach Brian Vincer.

“We could tell (his knee) was bothering him earlier in the season,” Vincer said. “We had to adjust a little of his technique, and change up his steps to accommodate (it). But, he is the toughest kid who I have ever coached, honestly. He overcame all of it and is in a great position now.”

Vincer is helping Madu refine his technique with the hope of making a top-three (medal) finish in Austin. The 6A boys’ triple jump is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.

“To get a top-three (finish) you will definitely have to jump in the high 48s, and to win you will definitely have to jump over 50,” Madu said. “That’s always how it is every year.”

A year ago, Roach won state with a leap of 50-02.25.

“I really feel (Michael) has a really great chance of getting in the top three, for sure,” Vincer said. “He’s probably one of the most technical jumpers that I have ever seen, at any level. Honestly, with the way he’s working and building on the momentum from (regionals), I think he’s got a great shot to compete for No. 1.”

sp michael madu

0 Comments

Related News

Plano East’s three keys to beat Wylie

Plano East’s three keys to beat Wylie

The Plano East Panthers are looking to get back to the basics. After a second consecutive loss to open the season, the Panthers (0-2) have a short ride to Wylie ISD Stadium to take on the Pirates. Wylie (0-2) has struggled out of the gate this season, losing two games...

read more
Lake Highlands outruns Plano East

Lake Highlands outruns Plano East

The Plano East Panthers (0-2) gave Lake Highlands (2-0) all they could handle, but ultimately the Wildcats won out.  Lake Highlands scored 31 points in the first half on the way to a 55-24 victory. Plano East, playing in Kimbrough Stadium for the first time this...

read more
Plano East’s three keys to beating Lake Highlands

Plano East’s three keys to beating Lake Highlands

After a difficult opening week loss, Plano East faces another tough test in non-district game two. While it’s not quite as daunting as top 10 in the state Allen, Lake Highlands presents a formidable foe. The Wildcats were projected to finish second overall in District...

read more
Flabiano stands out as one of nation’s top kickers

Flabiano stands out as one of nation’s top kickers

Not many people can say they’re among the very best at what they do. At Plano East, the Panthers starting kicker and punter Buzz Flabiano can say just that. A season after making 14 of 17 point-after attempts and hitting a couple of field goals, Flabiano was given a...

read more
East can’t keep up with Allen in loss

East can’t keep up with Allen in loss

Early in the season, Plano East is ready to work on some mistakes. Heading to Eagle Stadium for the Tom Landry Classic on Aug. 27, the Panthers hurt themselves in their 56-30 loss against Allen. Starting right off on the opening kickoff, Buzz Flabiano blasted the ball...

read more
Plano East’s three keys to beating Allen

Plano East’s three keys to beating Allen

Looking to put 2020 behind them, the Plano East Panthers are ready to hit the gridiron. It will begin much like 2020, with a matchup in the Tom Landry Classic against Allen. One of the strongest programs in Texas high school football, the Eagles represent a tough...

read more
Lady Panthers have successful opening week

Lady Panthers have successful opening week

The theme for this season was about gaining respect for the Plano East volleyball program. Under the guidance of new head coach Nikki Pugh, the team did just that in its opening week. Starting off the season on the road, Plano East beat Frisco Lebanon Trail in...

read more
Plano East offense eager to hit the ground running

Plano East offense eager to hit the ground running

The Plano East Panthers have a new mindset this season and the offense is ready to get on the field and get started. With a new quarterback and new offensive scheme, East will have a new look for 2021. That’s refreshing for a team that struggled last season, with some...

read more
Panthers cycling young talent in secondary

Panthers cycling young talent in secondary

With the optimism at the Plano East football program this summer, it’s easy to feel excited about the team. One area where the team is continuing to evaluate its options is in the secondary. With a number of new players taking over roles at safety and cornerback, the...

read more