To celebrate Brigetta Barrett’s departure to the London Olympics, UA track coach Sheldon Blockburger ordered a red, white and blue cake, appropriately decorated with the five Olympic rings and, yes, a high jump pit.

Blockburger cleverly added to the cake with a mini Brigetta, dressed in Team USA gear, clearing the bar above hand-written signs that said, “Go 4 the gold” and “Take no prisoners.”

Talk about setting the bar high.

Barrett leaves for London today; Blockburger arrives five days later. On Aug. 9, Barrett will enter the first of what her coach believes could be four Olympiads.

“I’ve been telling people Brigetta is only 21 and will be the youngest woman to make this year’s finals,” says Blockburger, the UA’s jumps coach since 2006. “Jumpers don’t reach their peak until 27 or 28, and I believe Brigetta will be the odds-on favorite in 2016 and 2020. She could even be favored in 2024, when she’ll be 33.”


Read this entire column in Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star.