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MacDavitt to jump for UIC

PERU — Kayla MacDavitt has had her share of "Booyah" moments playing volleyball and basketball for St. Bede Academy. Her future moments in the sports arena will come in track and field, however.

The St. Bede senior signed to join the University of Illinois at Chicago track and field team to continue her high jumping career with the Flames. She was a state medalist in the 2011 IHSA 1A state finals.

Of all the sports she played, MacDavitt said track and high jump is her favorite one.

"I really like it. It's almost like an individual thing," she said. "You can keep getting better at it. It marks that you're getting better. You know you're getting better because of the height, not just because your performance. You know you're getting higher."

The hitter in volleyball and center in basketball, MacDavitt said, "Of course I'm going to miss them. They've always been fun. It's going to be weird only doing one sport now."

MacDavitt got connected to UIC through her summer high jump coach, who had jumped for UIC coach Jim Knoedel in college. MacDavitt said she visited the UIC campus in Chicago and really liked it.

The St. Bede standout started out high jumping in eighth grade at Trinity Catholic in her hometown of LaSalle. From there, she progressed into a state-caliber jumper.

She qualified for the state her freshman year at 5-foot-2 and qualified again as as sophomore at 5-1, but did not medal. As a junior, she soared to 5-4, good for a seventh-place state finish in Class 1A. She's been the BCR Honor Roll Leader for two years running at 5-4.

"Hopefully, I make it to state again. It's the last time," she said. "I do want to make it state and try to place again. That would be the ultimate goal, placing higher than I did last year. But I got to get there one step at a time.

St. Bede fans became connected to MacDavitt's father, Donald, who made famous of his "Booyah" calls during Lady Bruins volleyball games. At first, Kayla said, "I didn't like it, but it grew on me."

She's figuring there may be some more "Booyahs" at UIC.

"Probably, if he ever comes to a track meets, there will be a Booyah somewhere," she said.

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