It runs in the family.
Promise Cross, following in the footsteps of her father Darrell Cross and brother Darrell Cross Jr., has set a firm footprint on the Rowan County athletic program.
Cross’ father was a Division 1 football and baseball player for Morehead State University and her brother a Rowan County standout in baseball, football, basketball and track.
After showing promise her freshman year, Cross had a record year.
She started as the lead goal scorer for the Lady Vikings soccer team.
She scored 23 goals, nine more than in her freshman season.
She scored an outstanding five goals, one unassisted, in the season opener against Mason County and closed out the regular season with a hat trick against Greenup County.
She scored her second hat trick to edge out Bath County, 3-2, in the district championship.
After losing in the second round of the regional tournament against Russell, Cross didn’t break stride as she rolled into the basketball season.
She was the leading point scorer for the Lady Vikings basketball team averaging 13.4 points a game.
She recorded 147 buckets and shot .46 from the field.
She also led the team in rebounds, averaging 7.2 a game.
When basketball ended, she jumped into the track season.
The high jump has always been Cross’ event when it came to track but this season Cross demonstrated her athleticism and versatility.
She not only jumped for height but she jumped for distance, and with a little push from her younger sister, Faith Cross, she was jumping on the run.
Cross turned it up a notch when it came to the end of the season.
She finished first in the high jump and the long jump at the Regional Meet in Maysville. She also finished first in the 300m hurdles.
Cross went to the state meet May 18 but a rain delay gave her an extra day to prepare.
Saturday came and she was ready to go.
She finished first in the high jump. Both Cross and Jalynn Landversicht from East Jessamine cleared 5'-6” and missed three attempts at 5'-8”.
Cross won the tie by missing less attempts than Landversicht.
She followed up her first place finish by finishing second in the 300m hurdles and sixth in the long jump.
Her entire family was there gleaming with pride as Cross stood on the podium that day.
“I like being there to watch Promise make Promise proud. It’s all about her being happy,” said her mother, Katina Solis.
The school year came to a close but Cross just kept on leaping.
It was looking like she might not break the school record, 5-6, she set as a freshman but she had at least one shot. That’s all she needed.
Cross cleared 5-9 at the Bluegrass State Games.
“I was thinking it was gonna be an off day but I just gave it my best,” said Cross about crushing last season’s record.
It was all in the adjustments. They had left the measuring tape at home but Coach Eric Cooper, Cross’ high jump coach, knew what to do.
Coach Cooper who has worked closely with Cross this past season has nothing but high hopes for what Cross’ future holds.
“Promise is the most explosive jumper I’ve worked with in over 30 years of coaching, that includes numerous national champions and two kids that qualified for the Olympic trials and are now at division one programs. She is uncannily coachable and with experience has the ability to be the best high jumper in state history,” said Cooper.
The long year was finally over, or was it?
Cross was packing for a summer vacation with her father to visit her grandparents, Gail and Oscar Cross, in Florida when they got the call that she qualified for the national meet.
Quickly plans changed as the Cross family knew this was an opportunity she could not miss out on.
They made the stop in Greensboro, North Carolina, before heading to Florida.
It was an atmosphere like Cross had never experienced.
“It was amazing to see so many athletes from all over, so many different cultures,” said Cross’ father, Darrell.
He added with a laugh, “When we rolled up Promise looked at me and said, ‘Is this nationals? Look at all these people’.”
Thousands of talented high school athletes gathered from across the country, from different backgrounds and different cultures to showcase their talent.
“I was feeling more nervous than I usually do. I was meeting so many girls, all telling me their PRs. It got in my own head,” said Cross.
Despite the sweltering heat and the overwhelming atmosphere, Cross still placed 16th out of 56 athletes at the national meet, and with two more years of high school left.
Krystal Williams can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 784-4116.