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May 17, 2013

6-foot club: Andover's Cronin now among the elite

Andover's Cronin now among the college elite

t was a moment she’d dreamed of for years, but when she finally accomplished it, there was no wild celebration.

Moira Cronin didn’t even realize what she had done.

The University of Virginia sophomore from Andover has the perfect excuse, though.

“It was a blonde moment,” she said with a laugh.

A blonde moment and a fond (to say the least) moment. Last Friday she high jumped 6-feet to win the event at the Virginia Challenge.

The 6-foot high jump is a magical barrier for a female high jumper similar to a man running a 4-minute mile. Only 18 collegians have done 6-feet this year while 20 college men have run sub-4 minutes or the metric equivalent.

Don’t blame her or her hair color for being in the dark on that historic day.

“Nobody in college can convert meters to feet. It’s like jumping blindly,” she said.

But her coach, Bryan Fetzer, knew that 1.83 meters means 6-feet. “He also knows what 6-feet means.

“That’s an elite field. That’s the standard,” he said. “She’s definitely a national level athlete.”

The 6-foot jump didn’t come easily. Cronin said she had come up short the previous 19 times she had attempted it dating back to high school.

“I finally did it,” said Cronin, who is believed to be the first 6-foot jumper ever from our area. “I don’t want to be bragging, but I’m really excited. It’s everything I dreamed of.”

Cronin, who is 5-11.75, was particularly proud that she jumped her height. It almost seemed she could have cleared Kevin Garnett.

“Looking at the film, she had a good three inches (over the bar),” said Fetzer.

For someone so accomplished in her chosen (track and) field, Cronin suffers from a strange malady.

“I’m actually afraid of heights,” admitted Cronin, the fourth UVA woman ever to high jump 6-0. “Basically I conquered the fear of it. It’s silly and embarrassing.”

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