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2023 triple 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 triple jump:


Class A Boys

Returning State Medalists (State mark listed)

o Jaylen Lloyd , 50-03.50 (1st) – Omaha Central (now Westside) (UNL commit)

o Reece Grosserode, 49-00.50 (2nd) – Pius

o Malachi Coleman, 45-03.25 (3rd) – Lincoln East

o Kui Diu, 44-03.50 (4th) - Lincoln High

o Cory Vaughn, 43-04.75 (6th) - Omaha Central (now Westside)

o Zane Flores, 43-03.50 (7th) - Gretna

o Travis Hines, 42-08.50 (8th) – Bellevue West


Outlook: *** All Class State Record Watchlist*** The triple jump was one of the highlights of the 2022 State meet. Grosserode broke the class A state record on his first jump and Lloyd followed by surpassing Todd Brown's (Holdrege, 1978) All-Class State Record on his second jump. Alas, Nebraska weather played a role as Lloyd’s jump was wind aided, so Brown still is recognized as the All-Class record holder while Grosserode has the Class A record. Lloyd improved his PR at Nike Outdoors by jumping a wind legal 50-06. Look for Jaylen to get the All-Class record this season. We think he will finish this season around four feet better than the other Class A competitors, in part because Grosserode is out this season due to an ACL tear (he'll be back on the runway during the summer).


Our guess is that Malachi Coleman (UNL football signee, 46-04.5 PR) will probably compete in this event at the State meet as Lincoln East vies for a State team title, but we'd be surprised if he's very active in the triple jump prior to Districts. Watch out for Corey Vaughn who has been on a tear since summer. He has bettered his PR by 2-00 with a 46-05.25 leap at College of St. Mary in February, and he should be able to go over 47-00 in the spring.


Kui Diu set his PR of 44-03.5 at State, as did Flores. Hines of Bellevue West has a career-best of 43-02.


Here's a darkhorse contender: keep an eye on Trey Salanoa (2022 PR of 40-00.5 as a freshman) from Elkhorn South to make a run at the medals. We're also intrigued with Finn McGovern of LSW, who jumped 42-09 last year as a freshman. Braytn Nespor of Millard South has been one of the busiest jumpers this winter, slightly improving his PR to 42-02.25.


Side note - the NSAA needs to highly consider a 13-meter board for the state meet – 36-00 is too close for 16-meter jumps. It might be necessary for the next couple of years.


Class A Girls

Returning State Medalists

o Sara Iburg, 38-03.25 (2nd) - Lincoln Pius X

o Lademi Davies, 37-06.75 (3rd) - Westside

o Amari Laing, 37-02.00 (4th) - Millard South

o Alyse Wiseman, 36-11.25 (5th) - Gretna

o Grace Henry, 36-10.25 (6th) - Elkhorn South

o Gozie Okafor, 36-05.00 (7th) - Omaha Marian


Outlook: The 2023 Triple is going to be a great competition as 6 returning medalists are back this season. Iburg is a basketball player who didn't begin triple jumping until last March, so look for her to come into form mid-season. When she hits her stride, there are big jumps coming. Lademi Davies can do it all - she's a complete jumper and sprinter with high-level coaching, and that combination means that a big jump is always possible. Laing has been jumping great this off season with an indoor jump of 36-00, in addition to a 18-05.50 long jump and solid results in the 60. Gozie Okafor has also picked up where she left off last season with a winter best of 36-02.50. Elkhorn South packs a punch with the Henry twins; Grace has a PR of 36-10.25 while Maddie's best is 35-09.5; both participated in winter meets. Alyse Wiseman of Gretna knows how to peak; her State effort of 36-11.25 was a PR by over 19 inches.


Class B Boys

Returning Medalists

Carsen Staehr, 46-06.00 (1st) - Aurora (USD commit)

Adam Dugger, 46-06.00 (2nd) - McCook

Brett Fraker, 46-02.75 (3rd) - McCook

Alex Messinger, 43-08.75 (6th) - McCook

Jonah Paulsen, 43-08.25 (7th) – St. Paul (Concordia commit)


Outlook: The 2022 State Meet came down to next best jumps with Staehr having the advantage. Staehr jumped 47-05 at 2022 Districts but look for the McCook trio to put the heat on this season. Both Franker and Messinger have already jumped over 43-00 this winter. Between just the long jump and triple jump, McCook is in position to score some serious points.

Gavin Sullivan of Pierce has the 5th-best PR (43-10.5) among returners, as well as the 3rd-best PR among returners in the long jump, so look for him to be in the thick of the medal hunt. Jonah Paulsen has already jumped 43-09 (a new PR) and 20-05.75 this winter, so look for him to dig deep before he heads off to the Concordia track program.


Don’t sleep on this field! Our bet is that it will take 48’ or more to win this season.


Class B Girls

Returning Medalists

o Maria Connealy, 37-05.25 (1st) - Omaha Gross

o Keelianne Green, 35-10.50 (4th) - Arlington (Concordia commit)

o Reese Kuecker, 35-01.50 (5th) - Lexington

o Jaelynne Kosmos, 34-06.50 (8th) - Beatrice (Concordia commit)


Outlook: Maria Connealy went on a tear over the last 3 weeks of the season with over 30 inches of improvement. Keelianne Green also had a jump over 37’ early in the 2022 season and could play a big role this season, but it's unclear if the triple jump is in her plans after she recovers from a winter injury. Reese Kuecker started the 2022 season as a 30’ jumper and ended as a 35’ jumper. If she can keep that momentum, who knows what her next level will be. Jaelynne Kosmos (34-10 PR) and her Beatrice team made it to the State basketball tourney last week, but the transition from basketball to jumping should go quickly for her.


Of the 2022 qualifiers who didn't medal, Jordyn Williams of Norris has the biggest PR at 36-01.5 from Districts. Emma Hague of Elkhorn popped off a 35-05.25 jump in mid-April last year so she has the potential to make an impact in her senior season. As a freshman, Jayden Meyer qualified for 2022 State in the 400, 800, 4x400 and triple - the 800 and the triple jump aren't common combinations - so it will be interesting to see how much improvement she can make over her PR of 34-05.75.


Connealy is the class of Class B, but there's plenty of talent there. If one of the many top-shelf sprinters decides to take a stab at the triple jump, life could get interesting. For example, RaeAnn Thompson of Falls City has three State gold medals in the 100/200 to go with a 17-03.75 PR in the long jump. Her father Raphael Thompson jumped 46-07 back in 1985, so she's got the genes and in-house coaching to make a mark here. (Who else but the Nerd team is going to give you insight like this?)


Class C Boys

Returning Medalists

o Cade Hosier, 44-09.00 (2nd) - Elmwood-Murdock

o LJ McNeill, 43-07.25 (4th) - Oakland-Craig

o Carson Kudlacek, 42-10.50 (7th) - Hastings St. Cecelia

o Connor Schutt, 42-10.25 (8th) - Bishop Neumann


Outlook: Cade Hosier is a beast, qualifying for 2022 State in the 100, 200, LJ and TJ. With PRs of 21-06.25 and 44-09, he's the clear favorite in the triple. He has a 14-inch PR gap on LJ McNeill, McNeill's State mark was 2-00 better than the other four meets on his athletic.net profile. Connor Schutt has the third best returning PR from 2022 at 42-11, and keep an eye on him; he suffered a broken hand during basketball and was able to start his triple jump training this winter, recording a 43-04 mark in his only winter meet.


Like several other boys in this class, Carson Kudlacek finished strong, and his 42-10.50 leap at State was a 12-inch PR. Carter Skleba of Wilber-Clatonia also set his PR of 42-04.5 at State, and he's got strong potential with his 20-06.75 PR. Boden Obst of Battle Creek has a 21-03.75 long jump PR that is more impressive than his 41-07.5 triple, so look for him to improve on that mark with another year of experience. Cade Johnson (Wakefield), Blake Garner (Perkins County), Chandler Page and Alex Rohrbaugh (both from Parkview Christian) all have PRs of at least 42-00, so look for a few of them to be in the medal mix.


Class C Girls

Returning Medalists

o Ella Gardner, 37-03.25 (1st) - Superior (North Dakota State commit)

o Lexi Vancura, 35-03.00 (5th) - Ord

o Mya Zohner, 34-10.00 (6th) - Battle Creek (Mount Marty commit)

o Mae Siegel, 35-04.75 (3rd in Class D) - N Platte St Pats (USD commit)


Outlook: Ella Gardner has looked great this off season and could earn a three-peat in this event. She'll have a fight on her hands, however. Avery Couch of David City surpassed 36-06 at two meets in March before jumping only twice in the next six weeks. Mya Zohner is our Class C favorite in the pole vault, and she has the third best PR of returners at 35-09. Vancura has a PR of 35-08.5, just off her State performance. Both Zohner and Vancura had two-foot improvements over 2021 and could be in contention for gold this season. Tatum Kaputska of Arcadia-Loup City is the only other returner with a PR above 35-00, but we count at least four girls with PRs over 34-00 who could see big gains this spring. For example, Sydney Kuchar of Battle Creek has a freshman PR of 34-05, and we know that the Battle Creek program has a strong tradition of developing high-level jumpers.


At least one freshman is sure to make an impact this year. Kearney Catholic is moving from Class B to Class C this year, and the Star's Alyssa Onnen has been very active during the winter season. In addition to a long-jump PR of 17-08.25 on February 5 at Concordia, she registered the best winter triple jump of any class with her 36-11.50 on February 12. That's not a one-time thing; she jumped 36-08.50 a week earlier.


As we noted in our long jump preview, North Platte St. Pat's has moved up to Class C, and that means that the triple jump gets a lot more competitive with Mae Siegel joining the fray. Mae has already matched her State leap with a 35-04.75 this winter, and her lifetime best from last summer is 37-06. Siegel, Onnen, Zohner and Vancura will be significant obstacles in the path of Ella Gardner's three-peat.


Class D Boys

Returning Medalists

o Xavier Marburger, 41-09.25 (4th) - Harvard

o Wylie Ziegler, 40-10.50 (7th) - Bloomfield

o Johnny Vargas, 40-06.50 (8th) - Garden County


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson, a distance runner at Axtell, is helping us with the Class D previews.) This was a senior-heavy event, with 11 of the top 15 jumps during 2022 registered by seniors. Xavier Marburger has the highest placement of returners from last year’s state meet. Now a senior, Marburger qualified for 2022 State in the 100 and 200, and he ripped a 44-03.75 in late April that was almost two feet better than his next best performance. Will Kulhanek of Overton is an elite sprinter in Class D (4th and 5th in 100/200 in 2022) with LJ/TJ PRs of 21-03.75 and 43-10 (2nd only to Marburger), but Will did not compete in the triple jump at Districts. has an impressive catalog of jumps from last year, jumping over 40 feet on 4 different occasions. Wiley Ziegler has the third best PR among returners, go 42-02, while Johnny Vargas' best is 41-08.25. Like most of the other performers in Class C and D, State performances were well-short of season-best, indicative of the colder weather and windy conditions.


Owen Kaps of Bertrand is the odd-on favorite to win a repeat gold medal in the pole vault, but his second most frequent event last spring was the triple jump. His PR of 40-08 came in the first meet of the season, his only meet above 40-00, and he finished 4th at Districts. However, he exceed 40-00 in six meets in 2021, so he's cut his chops in this event. While competing in the pole vault and the triple jump on the same day could be taxing, the two events are on different days at State - and Kaps clearly has the athleticism to be a factor.


A darkhorse is Luke Bailey of Ansley-Litchfield. As a freshman, he broke the 40-00 barrier for the first time at 2022 Districts before jumping 38-03.25 at State. Another year of repetition and growth could propel him to the medal stand in 2023.


Class D Girls

Returning Medalists

o Macy Richardson, 36-07.00 (1st) - Sterling

o Teagan Gonsior, 35-09.75 (2nd) - Fullerton

o Mae Siegel, 35-04.75 (3rd) - N Platte St Pats (moves to Class C) (USD commit)

o Adysen McCarter 35-04.00, (4th) - Overton

o Abbie Kromarek, 34-05.00 (6th) - Plainview

o Savana Krupicka, 33-10.50 (7th) - Exeter-Milligan


Outlook: (Tyler Hanson) It turns out that Macy Richardson is pretty good at things that involve jumping based on her 2022 gold medals in the 100 hurdles and triple jump, silver in the 300H and a bronze in the long jump. Macy returns with a PR that is nine inches better than Teagan Gonsior, but Teagan is the defending long jump champion. Mae Siegel moves up to Class C this spring, but Adysen McCarter isn't far behind Gonsior. Adysen jumped 36-02.75 at Concordia in December, an unusual time to set a big PR. The returners are rounded out with Kromarek and Krupicka, who both established their PRs at the State meet. Both would need to substantially improve their leaps to contend for the title, but they are in strong position to repeat as medalists this year.


The triple jump requires a unique combination of speed, technique and springing ability, and few athletes are quick studies in this event. There's a large pack of underclassmen from 2022 who are sitting between 32-00 and 34-00, and we expect that a few of them will make the necessary improvements to land on the podium this year.


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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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