High jumpers ready to jump into the outdoor track and field season

%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Heading into the outdoor season, Marquette University’s high jump crew is needed to produce points to go alongside the entire track & field team.

Marquette head coach Bert Rogers said this year’s group of jumpers is “a tight-knit group that really encourages one another and takes a lot of pride in their event”.

Junior Emma Ludwig said competing in the high jump event takes skill, determination, form and focus.

“You got to think about the angle at which you’re approaching the bar and (how) you melt your body in the air,” Wevren said. “A lot of different specific components to think about. But when you break it down and kind of attack it one by one, it starts to come together.”

Rogers mentioned that Ludwig is one of his veteran athletes.

“She has had some really good meets throughout her career. Immediately as a freshman, she was like second indoors,” Rogers said. “She’s battled the injury bug and stuff like that as well and, you know, I feel like she’s just starting to come around as well. I’m looking forward to seeing some good stuff out of her as we head towards the outdoor season.”

Ludwig mentioned that high jump can get to be very technical.

Ludwig said, “it takes 90% mental focus”.

The sport of high jump is complex. The athlete has to be intentional in their movement.

“For people who know high jump a little bit, whether you’re going to make the bar from the get-go set of your first step of your approach,” Ludwig said.

Wevren mentioned “You gotta fly through there a little bit and hopefully get over a bar”.

Due to the 2021-22 season being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the unit has several returners and first-years who have an indoor season under their belts.

Rogers said that senior Lindsey Mirkes is one of the team’s top returners heading into the outdoor season.

“Lindsey has the biggest credentials and she’s really fine-tuned her craft. She made the height that a couple of the jumpers (who) qualified for nationals (last year),” Rogers said.

Rogers said Mirkes is jumping “more consistently” compared to last year.

“The hope is that she’s just putting numbers up a little bit ahead of where she was last year,” Rogers said. “Hopefully, we can carry that into outdoors and put us even further ahead by the time we get to the end of the outdoor season. She’s been a good leader, good jumper and competitor for us.”

On the men’s side, Rogers said that senior jumper Harry Baker is “a force to be reckoned with as well.”

“Coming out of the chute in December, he was jumping really well, jumping like basically his highest jump,” Rogers said. “He has not jumped like this in the last four years this early.”

As the indoor season concluded this past weekend in Chicago with the BIG EAST Championships, Wevren said “It’s nice all the events are starting to come together.”

All season, the team often traveled far distances for competitions.

Ludwig said he feels “relieved” to have a season after what happened during the 2020-2021 season.

“One high is definitely not letting COVID take our season away. We’ve been able to have a very consistent practice schedule and I think has really helped a lot of people and definitely me too,” Ludwig said.

Moving onto the outdoor season, the track increases in meters from 200 to 400 meters.

However, Rogers said that the only difference that will influence the high jumpers is the weather.

“It’s nice and controlled when you’re jumping inside, but when you have it a beautiful day outside, that’s definitely the ideal situation that you want,” Rogers said.

Rogers mentioned that sophomore athlete Katie Dingle is someone to look out for during the outdoor season.

“She had been jumping really well for us and she twisted her ankle during warmups, of all things. That pretty much knocked her out of the entire indoor season,” Rogers said. “He had been doing really well and was practicing really well, in all of our events. But her in the high jump had been looking really good. So, you know, that was definitely a big blow.”

The outdoor season is set to begin April 1 at the Washington U Distance Carnival Meet in St. Louis.

This article was written by Johnnie Brooker. He can be reached at johnnie.brooker@marquette.edu.