High jumper sets school record

A record-breaking jump by Jonathan Felker ’14 kicked off the track and field season on a high note, and the varsity track and field teams will look for similar results as they approach the middle of the season.

Felker cleared a height of 6 feet-2 inches in the high jump event in the opening meet against Crespi on Feb. 28, claiming the school record for male high jump, previously held by Drew Tuttle ’11 at 6 feet-1 inch.

Felker could tell that the jump was special by how he felt coming off the ground.

“When you jump with correct form, which happens relatively rarely, your feet almost feel weightless,” Felker said. “It’s like there’s no impact at all on your feet when you make contact with the ground, so I knew once I felt that sort of weightless sensation it’d be a high jump, and that is definitely not something I do very often.”

The third year jumper feels excited to have his name in the Wolverine record books, and believes the jump has raised his standards for himself.

“It is really cool,” Felker said. “I’ve been aiming to break it since freshman year, and I almost quit track this year but I’m obviously pretty happy I didn’t.

“When you reach a goal like that so early in the season it can definitely lead you to high expectations for yourself,” Felker said. “So I’m struggling with accepting some not as good days, but all in all it’s been good for my confidence and my motivation.”

Felker becomes the second record-holding high jumper on the current track and field teams, joining Alex Florent ’15, who set the female high jump record last year with a jump of 5 feet-10 inches.

“Currently having two high jump record holders shows that that’s a very strong event for us right now,” Track and Field Program Head Jonas Koolsbergen said. “It shows that we have a lot of talented kids, and the work being done by the coaches, especially coach [Steve] Baylor, who is our primary high jump coach, is really outstanding.”

Overall, the girls’ team stands at a record of 2-0, while the boys stand at a record of 0-2, and will next host St. Francis and Sacred Heart at home tomorrow.

Koolsbergen said the Wolverines’ schedule has been an obstacle. Nevertheless they are competitive in league earlier than usual and have done well regardless of the competition.

“[Other teams] have non-league games, non-league matches to put everything together,” Koolsbergen said. “So it puts a lot of pressure on the team members that have important meets right at the beginning of our competition cycle, but we’re handling that well and hoping that we can evolve in doing even better as we move through the next couple of meets going into spring break.”