REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (WCMH) — Reynoldsburg long jumper Andre Turner has overcome injury and loss to finish his senior season on a high.
Turner won the OCC championship in long jump after not competing in the event for two years because of a severe ankle injury he suffered in August 2019 when the bone came out of the skin.
“I was scared. I was shook,” Turner said. “I remember just seeing the blood gushing out. I almost passed out.”
Turner suffered an open compound fracture and faced what would be a year-long recovery in physical therapy.
“It was always my mom and my grandma just emphasizing this isn’t the end,” he said. “You still have more time to get back and get better.”
But in December 2019, just four month’s after his injury, Turner’s mother died unexpectedly.
“Honestly I can say that is probably the hardest challenge I’ve faced in my life. Probably will be the hardest challenge I face in my life and for awhile I was going through a little depression. I wanted to give everything up,” Turner said. “I didn’t want to do track. I didn’t want to do anything. Just let my injury heal however it was going to heal even if it didn’t heal correctly. But as time went on I just had to learn to live with the fact that she isn’t here anymore and I know she wouldn’t want me to throw away everything, so I just took it as motivation to get better, get stronger and keep going with it.”
Almost two years to the date since his last competitive jump, Turner won the OCC title with a jump of 21 feet and 4 inches — the 8th best mark in school history.
“It still gives you hope that you can still do it and honestly that nothing can stop you,” he said.
Turner’s example on the track and in the classroom is something he strives for as an example for his four younger siblings to emulate.
“We’ve got to stick together because we are who we have left,” Turner said. “Despite our situation, we can make the best out of everything. We can be better than we think we are.”
Turner’s track career is over after finishing 10th in the district finals last week, but he’s got plenty to look forward to because he’ll be attending Morgan State in Baltimore this fall where he’ll study electrical engineering.