Kyzaiah Stone has a presence that fills whatever space he occupies. Standing 6 ft. 1 in. with brightly colored hair and a nose ring, he’s hard to miss.
The Cleveland High graduate will attend North Carolina State University in the fall of 2022 on a full track and field scholarship. He set the state high jump record of 7 ft. 1 in. at the 2022 4A state winter track meet.
None of this is surprising since Stone has the genetics equivalent of an Olympic athlete…quite literally. His mother, Adriane Dompier, is also an NC State graduate, and holds the Raleigh Relays record for her high jump of 6 ft. 1 ½ in. set in 1996.
“When Kyzaiah breaks the men’s record we will both hold the Raleigh Relays high jump record,” she said. “He will do it!,” she exclaimed. That record is 7 ft. 3 ¼ in. set by Tanner Anderson in 2010.
In addition to being a student athlete at NC State, which demands an immense amount of focus in and of itself, Stone will also train for the 2024 Olympic trials.
His goal is to jump his way to world domination. In fact, his coach at NC State is the same coach that helped his mom to her second Olympic trials in 2008. A full circle moment for Dompier as a mother and an athlete.
The current Olympic record is 7 ft. 10 in. set by Charles Austin in 1996, and the world record is 8 ft. ¼ in., set by Javier Sotomayor in 1993, both of which he plans on crushing. “I believe in myself that I can make it,” he said with a shy confidence.
One would think that Stone looks up to Austin and Sotomayor as heroes, however his hero is much, much closer to home. “I have one hero, and it is my coach, my best friend…my mama,” he declared.
She has been Stone’s volunteer coach ever since he decided to quit football and become a great high jumper. “As a coach he is the dream athlete. As his mother, he has been the son that parents pray for,” she said with pride. “He brings me so much joy.”
One of three siblings, Stone, is the middle child. Track and field is definitely a family affair. Not only are he and his mom track stars, but his younger sister also participates in track, so they are together a lot.
“My sister is usually with me when I ride home from practice,” he said. It is clear that Stone comes from a tight knit family. He actually gets along with his younger sister, unthinkable for a lot of siblings at this age.
Stone’s dream of becoming a great high jumper was not as easy for him as one would think. All of the genetics, quality coaching (mostly from his mom), and support (again, mostly from his mom) doesn’t make someone good. It isn’t even the will to win in Stone’s view.
His motivation is plain and simple, and that is to have fun. In fact, the phrase “Stay bouncy” is his mantra. It was his mom’s words of encouragement right before a race when he was feeling nervous. Now that phrase is in his head whenever he competes, along with music ranging from rap to country.
The first season Stone was self-admittedly very serious. Maybe a bit too serious. He wasn’t necessarily having any fun. Then he went to one of his first competitions.
While there, he noticed someone high jumping with no marks for measurements. This person had no idea how high, or low, their jumps were. They were merely having fun while jumping.
That’s when Stone’s focus and motivation shifted. From there, he won Most Improved and the Coach’s Award at the end of freshman year.
Staying bouncy has brought Stone a mountain of success. It’s the last thing he’s thinking before jumping or while setting himself up on his blocks before one of his 100-, 200-, 60-meter races or the 4×100 relay. Yes, you read that right.
Not only does Stone jump as high as a dolphin, he also has the speed of a cheetah. He just set the state 40-meter-record which totals five state records, in two years, that he holds. He was also named most valuable player at a South Carolina competition.
“I just love the sport and having fun,” he said. If this is Stone’s idea of fun, this must be like Disney World.
Stone will study animal science at NC State and would like to work with large animals, like lions, tigers, and bears. A member of Future Farmers of America (FFA), he recently showed a cow at a county fair.
He was judged not only on how the cow showed (looked), but on how he cared for the cow, like the cow’s nutrition and cleanliness. Lastly, he was judged on how he and the cow interacted with each other.
If you wonder where he gets all of this energy, he sleeps any time he isn’t at school, jumping, or showing livestock. Stone is making good use of his time when he’s awake.
His mom has some new words of advice for him, “Go soar!” She gifts her children with their passport when they graduate high school to encourage them to stretch their wings and soar to new heights, places, and experiences, and will do the same for Stone.
“Soar as high as you can, my love, and know that mama is rooting for you to achieve great things because you were set apart for great things,” she said. Stone will undoubtedly soar to new heights in this next chapter of his life with the love and support of his family.