At a tire and auto-repair shop in a small town in Florida, there is a room with glass walls lined practically from top-to-bottom and side-to-side with what amounts to a shrine for the 2018 women’s high jump SEC Champion. Amber Boss, along with her husband and owner of the shop Thomas Boss, has plastered the walls to celebrate the achievements of their oldest daughter, Logan Boss, a senior high-jumper at Mississippi State.
There are newspaper clippings from high school, stories printed off the internet, pictures from any source imaginable and even team posters from MSU’s track and field team covering all the available space in the room. Thomas and Amber, needless to say, are quite proud of their daughter, and that’s why they will be in College Station this weekend, taking a mini-vacation from Florida to journey out west.
After winning the SEC indoor high jump title two weeks ago, Logan Boss is after the biggest prize the NCAA has to offer: a National Championship. Appropriately, it will be at the same facility housed by Texas A&M where Boss won the SEC Championship last month and where she placed third at Nationals last year.
“I’m really excited to be back at Texas A&M because I jump well there. It works with me,” she said. “SECs were kind of the first step. The ultimate goal is a National Championship.”
The way Boss has been jumping lately, she may reach her goal this weekend. Despite winning the SEC Title with a meet record of 1.91 meters in the high jump, it wasn’t even her best jump of the season. That came earlier in the year when she set a school record with a jump of 1.92 meters, or six feet and three-and-a-half inches. That 1.92 gave her the third-best indoor jump of all time in the Southeastern Conference.
And she nearly beat it again two weeks ago, coming millimeters away from setting the SEC record.
As recorded in MSU’s release on the attempt: “Boss attempted to jump 1.94m, the mark needed to enter international competition and set an SEC record, but she came up short. It appeared she had cleared on her second try, but the bar wobbled on its pedestals before eventually falling.”
Despite the high-level of her performance at this point in the year and the clear confidence she’s competing with, Boss actually never thought such a thing was even possible. Before each season, she meets with MSU jumps coach Steve Thomas and he sets out a plan for what height she will jump that year.
“My coach has told me how good I would be every year,” she said. “We set marks every year, and when we set those marks, I think he’s nuts. I just think there’s no way I can jump that high. Then I end up jumping that high. I’m like, I don’t know how you knew that or how you did that, but I did it.”
The way Thomas knew, it turned out, was pretty easy. He just watched Boss work.
“One of the things that we always think about in training jumpers is, how strong can we get an athlete?” he explained. “As her strength levels go up, we know her jumping ability is going to go up.”
So when Thomas found out that Boss was leg pressing 800 pounds in the weight room this offseason, he knew good things were coming.
Of course, the conclusion of the indoor season isn’t the end for Boss. She still has another outdoor season left, and even after she finishes her MSU career, there is plenty more to be done.
If Boss is able to hit the 1.94-meter mark she came so close to jumping in the SEC Championships, she will automatically qualify for international competition. Even from that point, there would still be more cuts to be made, but Boss is well on her way to turning a dream into a surreal reality. She wants to play for Team USA, and the fact that such a sentence can realistically come out of her mouth remains a crazy sensation for the senior from O’Brien, Florida.
“It’s just weird for me to feel that close,” she said. “I know what I’m doing is awesome and incredible for me, but to put it into perspective compared to everyone else, I’m jumping with the pros and that just kind of blows my mind.”
However, jumping isn’t all that’s on Boss’s mind lately. In an accomplishment that makes her just as proud as any, she graduates with her degree in Kinesiology this May. After that, she’s already been accepted into MSU’s MBA program where she will continue her education.
Here in the middle of 2018, there is a lot going on for Logan Boss.
“And it is crazy,” she said. “I’m about to graduate college and that’s going to be the most incredible accomplishment for me. I just won SECs, but I think graduating is going to be in the same realm of how proud I am of myself and how much I feel like I’ve accomplished.”
And if she has her way, there are plenty of accomplishments left to come.