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High School Athlete Reaches Seven-Foot Mark In High Jump Event

Dylan Huggins
Press & Dakotan

A high school senior from Parker became the sixth South Dakota high school student in history to clear the seven-foot mark in the high jump event. Zack Anderson made the jump during the Jesse James track and field invitational in Garretson this year. 

He plans to continue his career in the fall at the University of South Dakota.

It’s been two decades since any South Dakota high school student topped 7 feet in the high jump. Before Zack Anderson, only five other students have cleared the bar. Anderson says he’s excited about reaching the milestone. However, he’s aiming higher.

"I know I have the bounce in my legs. Getting up there isn't the issue, it's just the form is the big part." - Parker Senior Zack Anderson

"7’3”, I wanted the record bad. I really wish I could go back to that same jump and just do it one more time, because I swear I’d get it," says Anderson. "I know I’ll get another shot at it, hopefully amped up again like that. But definitely 7’3” was going through my head."

Anderson says the area for practicing the high jump in Parker doesn’t have ideal conditions. He says the ground isn’t level. This requires him to run up hill – and as a result, he doesn’t practice at his own school. But - he says that hasn’t stopped his training.

"So, the only thing I can do is go online and research stretches and stuff, because I know I have the bounce in my legs. Getting up there isn’t the issue, it’s just the form is the big part," explains Anderson. "So just making sure before I go to bed, do the bridge stretch and all the basic things that’ll get me to flex over the bar."

Anderson says it’s his dream to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. Anderson starts college at the University of South Dakota in the fall.