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2023 long jump preview

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Just as we did in 2022, we asked Patrick Grosserode, the owner of the Trackville training facility in Lincoln, to provide a preview of field events. And just like last year, Patrick wrote an entire article for each discipline. Patrick is uniquely qualified to opine on the current state of field events, and we're thrilled to work with him. Here is Patrick's recap of the long jump:


Class A Boys

Returning State Medalists (State mark listed)

o Jaylen Lloyd, 23-03.50 (1st) – Westside (UNL commit)

o Reece Grosserode, 23-01 (2nd) – Pius

o Rowdy Bauer, 22-02 (3rd) – Norfolk

o Kolten Tilford, 21-09 (4th) – North Platte

o Donald DeFrand, 21-08.75 (6th) – Lincoln High


Outlook: *** State Record Alert *** Jaylen Lloyd had himself a summer. He was the US Outdoor National Champion with a wind legal jump of 25-05.50” on his last attempt. He followed it up with a win at the Junior Olympic National Meet with a wind legal jump of 25-04.75. Both jumps better the state record, currently held by Robert Rands (Bellevue East, 2005), by more than 4”. We are really hoping for some wind legal days this season. Jaylen transferred from Omaha Central to Westside last fall, and he'll be competing this weekend at Nike Nationals.


Reece Grosserode also jumped over 24’ last summer but will be out this season with an ACL injury suffered off the track in October. Jaylen had an epic battle in the triple jump last year at State, with Jaylen earning the State title while Reece grabbed the Class A record with a wind-legal jump. He will hit the runway again late in 2023.


Donald DeFrand of Lincoln High jumped 23-03 during the summer season and 21-06 this indoor season. Defrand and teammate Davion Williams will be ready for some big jumps this outdoor season. Bauer and Tilford did not jump this indoor season, but both were consistently over 22’ in the latter part of the 2022 season. Jamarion Dortch (Central) had a lifetime best by over a foot this indoor season with a jump of 21-10”. Corey Vaughn (Westside), Paul Lakamp (LSW), Nick Kieny (Prep) and Adoriyan Daniels (Columbus) all jumped over 20’ this indoor season. Also keep an eye out for Aiden Welch (LSW) – there have been some very big jumps during off season training.


Class A Girls

Returning State Medalists

o Lademi Davies, 19-06.25 (1st) – Westside

o Emma Rauch-Word, 17-11 (3rd) – Grand Island

o Sara Iburg, 17-11, (4th) – Pius

o Amari Laing, 17-04.75 (6th) – Millard South

o Zaidah Lightener, 17-04.25 (7th) – Papio South


Outlook: *** State Record Alert *** Lademi Davies finished second in the Canadian U20 championships this summer with a jump of 18-09. At that meet she had a toe foul on a jump that was well beyond the 20’ barrier. Fouls don’t count, but they do give you a glimpse of what it possible when it is all put together. We are really hoping for some good weather this season, because we're sure a 20-00 jump is coming. Emma Rauch-Word of GI jumped over 18-00 this indoor season and has been working on speed during the off season. It has shown with some very quick hurdle times. Amari Laing has been on a tear this indoor season with a lifetime best of 18-05 while also competing in sprints and the shot put. Zaidah Lightener of Papio South also had a lifetime best this winter with a jump of 17-09.50. Sara Iburg has been in the gym all winter and will certainly factor into the mix in a big way this season. Rome Bridger (Papio South) and Chloe Mooberry (Millard North) also jumped over 17-00 this indoor season.


Seventeen of the twenty-four 2022 qualifiers return this season including sophomore Imani Skanes (Omaha Northwest), who has a PR of 18-00.25 (5th best in Class A last year) and has also gone over 36-00 in the TJ. She jumped over 17-00 at five of her meets last year and finished 11th at State with a leap of 17-00.50. Gracy Henry of Elkhorn South had the 6th-best jump for underclassmen last year at 17-09.5, just ahead of Laing, Keaton Musiel (Lincoln East) and Carly Purdy (North Platte).


Class B Boys

Returning Medalists

o Adam Dugger, 23-05.75 (1st) – McCook

o Evan Mai, 21-08 (6th) – McCook

o Carsen Staehr, 21-05.75 (7th) – Aurora (USD commit)


Outlook: Adam Dugger was the All Class State Champion in 2022. He will look to repeat this season and is the only jumper in Class B with a 23-00 lifetime best. Teammate Evan Mai jumped 20-07.75 this indoor season and will look for another podium finish in 2023. McCook also has a third athlete, Brett Fraker, who jumped 20-05 over the winter, so they'll be looking for big points in this event.


Carsen Staehr of Aurora has a lifetime best over 22-00 and based on his big triple jump, he could have a 23-00 in the tank this season. The darkhorse in the field is Jackson Roberts (Boone Central). He had a very high foul percentage last season which kept him off the podium in most meets. However, he has worked on his runway this winter, and if he can put one on the board, a 23-00 jump is well within range. Jonah Paulson (St. Paul) had an indoor jump of 21-05.25 ranking him #1 in Class B for the winter. Michael Willey (Crete) also jumped over 20-00 this indoor season.


Gavin Sullivan of Pierce has the third best PR of returners at 21-11.75; he finished 17th at State with a jump of 19-06 and will certainly have a chip on his shoulder this spring. His teammate Addison Croghan had a 21-07 PR from 2022 Districts before finishing 10th at State. Cameron Leeling of Sidney (Doane commit) jumped 21-11.5 last spring before finishing 20th at State, and he's a solid medal prospect in both the long jump and high jump.


Class B Girls

Returning Medalists

o Taylor Bredthauer, 17-09.75 (1st) – Norris (USD commit)

o Keeli Green, 17-09.25 (2nd) – Arlington (Concordia commit)

o Karsyn Leeling, 17-06 (3rd) – Sidney (Doane commit)

o Maria Connealy, 16-10.25 (5th) – Omaha Gross

o RaeAnn Thompson, 16-09.50 (7th) – Falls City

o Gabrielle Moreno, 16-008.50 (8th) – Gering


Outlook: *** State Record Alert *** The Class B field is one of the deepest in any event, with the 7 of the top 9 from the 2022 State meet returning. Taylor Bredthauer of Norris has put up some big numbers this indoor season. She has upped her lifetime best to 19-04, which is two inches off the class B State record held by Tierra Williams of Auburn (2013). She has the speed, the power and the technical to put something out over 20-00 this season. RaeAnn Thompson of Falls City had a lifetime best this indoor season with a jump of 17-11.75 and, with her 7.88 60-meter speed, she could very well factor into a high podium finish. Green has a lifetime best of 18-06.25 and will look for a bit of redemption this season after falling just a half inch short of gold in 2022. Keeli has been dealing with an injury over the winter, so we expect her to have a slow start to the season. Karsyn Leeling of Sidney (Doane commit) has a lifetime best of 18-3.75. Moreno of Gering was a just a freshman last May when she grabbed the final medal; despite her youth, she was consistent in 2022, jumping between 16-08.5 and 16-10 in four of her five meets. At 17-06, Hannah Madden of Bennington has the fourth-best PR among returners. While she didn't have a great State meet in 2022, she's already jumped 17-02 this winter and should be ready to compete for a medal.


This field is deep and experienced. We will see some big jumps this season.


Class C Boys

Returning Medalists

o Casey Hanson, 20-04 (5th) - Perkins County

o Nolan Eloe, 20-03 (7th) – Amherst

o Spencer Ramaekers, 20-01 (8th) – Twin River

o Jackson Roberts, 20-01 (6th in Class D) – North Platte St. Patrick


Outlook: Five of the top six medalists last year have graduated, so the podium for this event is as wide open as any this year. Casey Hanson had the 9th best jump in Class C in 2022 at 21-02.25 but performed well at State on a tough jumping day, and he is the highest returning medalist. However, the returner with the longest PR is Cade Hosier of Elmwood-Murdock, who hit 44-09 in the triple jump at State but long jumped about 18 inches under his PR of 21-06.25. Spencer Ramaekers of Twin River also has a 21-06.25 PR while Nolan Eloe jumped 21-04.5 last season.


Only 10 of 24 qualifiers return this year, and Boden Obst (Battle Creek, 21-03.75 PR) and Nate Decker (Elkhorn Valley, 20-11.75) have the best PRs of the other 2022 qualifiers. North Platte St. Pat's has moved up to Class C this spring, so look for Jackson Roberts to make a mark after medaling in the Class D long jump and 400 meters in 2022.


We expect at least one medal spot to be taken by a boy who didn't qualify last year. Nerves, weather conditions and adrenaline can lead to unpredictable results in the jumps at State, so we think nearly all the spots in the Class C podium are up for grabs.


Class C Girls

Returning Medalists

o Ella Gardner, 18-00.75 (1st) – Superior (North Dakota State commit)

o Kailee Kellum, 16-06 (5th) – Valentine

o Abby Wachal, 16-02.50 (6th) – Lincoln Lutheran

o Cameryn Goochey, 16-01.25 (7th) – Ainsworth

o Kaitlyn Emanuel, 16-01 (8th) – North Bend Central

o Mae Siegel, 16-05.25 (6th in Class D), North Platte St. Pats (USD commit)


Outlook: *** State Record Alert *** Ella Gardner of Superior was the runner up in 2021 and State champion in 2022. She has a lifetime best of 19-06.75 (2022 Districts) which puts her into our state record conversation. Her PR is five inches longer than the current Class C state record held by Bethany DeLong of Laurel-Concord but it didn't count for her because there was no official wind reading. She has by far the best jump of all returners in Class C and has looked strong this off season. Abby Wachal leads the other returning medalists with a PR of 16-08. Alyssa Onnen (Kearney Catholic freshman) had an indoor jump of 17-08.25 (and a TJ of 36-08.50) which puts her right in the mix for a podium finish if she can keep the momentum this season.


Kyra Wooden of Centura (11th at State, 15-09.75) jumped over 17-00 twice last season and has the second best PR behind Gardner; she should be in medal contention, and her teammate Sydney Davis (16-09.25 PR) should be too. Similarly, Hannah Herrick of Amherst surpassed 17-00 at 2022 Districts (4th best in Class C for the season) before a 15-10.5 effort at State.


The NSAA's annual reclassification of schools adds another dimension to this event. Mae Siegel of North Platte St. Pat's moves up to Class C this year, and she improved her 2022 PR by twenty inches this winter with a leap of 18-02.25 and she's a 37-06 triple jumper. We watched her compete at College of St. Mary in January, and she looked like a high-level jumper from the moment we saw her.


One of our western Nebraska friends tells us that Kailee Kellum has moved out of state, so she won't be at Burke to defend her medal.


Our take: Gardner looks like a solid pick to repeat at State champion but Siegel and Onnen could give her some serious heat. We see a dogfight for medals in this event.


Class D Boys

Returning Medalists

o Will Kulhanek, 20-10.50 (4th) – Overton

o Jackson Roberts, 20-01 (6th in Class D) – North Platte St. Patrick (moves to Class C)

o Drew Scott, 20-00.75 (7th) – Hitchcock County


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson, a distance runner at Axtell, is helping us with the Class D previews.) Last year’s field was senior-laden, leaving this season wide open for new contenders to emerge. Headlining the returners of this season is Will Kulhanek, the phenom from Overton. Kulhanek has an incredible amount of versatility, medaling in both the 100 and 200 (placing fourth and fifth, respectively), and surpassing 43-00 in the triple jump. Jackson Roberts should be the 2nd highest returner but he's been shipped off to Class C with the rest of his teammates. Drew Scott of Hitchcock was nearly 10 inches behind Kulhanek but he did so with a tailwind over 2 m/s slower.


Among the 2022 season-best performance list, the three boys listed above were the only underclassmen among the top 12 in Class D. Beyond those top 12, Noah Eggleston (SEM) leads the pack the pack with a 20-06 PR, followed by Landon Way (Bertrand, 20-04), Spencer Hillie (Plainview, 20-04) and Bradee Gubbels (Osmond, 20-03). Hillie was the silver medalist in the 2022 high jump at 6-04, so he's definitely got the hops to go beyond 21-00.


Class D Girls

Retuning Medalists

o Teagan Gonsior, 17-08 (1st) – Fullerton

o Macy Richardson, 16-10.50 (3rd) – Sterling

o Kaylee Pribyl, 16-06.25 (5th) – Meridian (Doane commit)

o Mae Siegel, 16-05.25 (6th), North Platte St. Pats (moves to Class C) (USD commit)

o Mya Hedstrom, 16-05, 16-05 (7th) – St. Mary’s

o Addy Sweeney, 16-01.7 (8th) – Cedar Bluffs


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson) This field of jumpers returns five of eight medalists from last year. Headlining the returners is the defending champion, Teagan Gonsior. Gonsior leads the returners by almost a foot, and her PR is 18-02 from her 2022 district meet. Her nearest challengers are Macy Richardson and Kaylee Pribyl. Richardson is the defending triple jump and 100m hurdles champion, while Pribyl is the reigning pole vault champ. Both had incredible leaps at last year’s state meet, and either of them could make the necessary improvements to catch Gonsior this year. Hedstrom and Sweeney round out the returning medalists, each with leaps of above 16’. Sweeney may be the wild card here - she jumped 17-01 as a freshman and also qualified in the two hurdles events, so another year of growth and experience could make her a very dangerous sophomore. On that same note, Anna Clark of Sandhills/Thedford finished 9th last year as a freshman, and she's got the sprint background to make a mark in this event.


As noted in the Class C preview, Mae Siegel will be not be competing in Class D this year.

While Gonsior is a heavy favorite, the athleticism of the girls just behind her will make this a compelling event to watch.


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Originally written for and posted at www.preprunningnerd.com by Patrick Grosserode, Tyler Hanson and Jay Slagle in March 2023. If you find an error, please DM or e-mail us at jayslagle@hotmail.com and we'll get it fixed.


Patrick Grosserode is the owner of Trackville, an indoor training facility devoted to developing youth, high school and collegiate athletes. He's also the Director of the Lincoln Community Track Club, the jump coach at Lincoln Pius X, and a USATF level 2 jump and sprint/hurdle coach. Lean more about Trackville at https://thetrackville.com/.


Like this coverage of Nebraska high school distance running? There's more of this at www.preprunningnerd.com. Check out the Blog tab for our frequent stories, the Articles tab for long-form articles, the Results tab for every Nebraska high school race we could find this year, and the Rankings tab for team and individual rankings. If you want to see meet photos or just need to kill a few hours on social media, follow us on Twitter @PrepRunningNerd or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/preprunningnerd.


Finally, if you think runners, jumpers and throwers are the best things on earth, you'll enjoy our two most popular articles. In 2018 we published "The Runner with the Broken Heart" about a high school boy who finished last in nearly every race he ran. In 2022 we published, "The Fall and Rise of Emmett Hassenstab," a story about a high school triple jumper who became a quadrapalegic after a swimming accident.


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