Washington's Coker long jumps a personal-best 21-1 at the Dickinson Relays
CEDAR FALLS — During Alex Coker’s track and field career, he’d long jumped over 21 feet on several occasions, but scratched each time. On Tuesday night at the Dickinson Relays, however, the Washington junior hit the jump just right.
His career-best jump of 21 feet, 1 inch was good for seventh place at the large meet held inside the UNI-Dome.
“He was ecstatic. He was thrilled,” Washington head coach Steve Roth said of Coker. “And so was I. I was happy for him because he’s been trying to get [21 feet] for a long time.”
Despite Monday’s cold and snowy conditions, Roth worked outdoors with Coker to try to get him to hit the board just right.
“We worked Monday, just him and I, on concentration,” Roth said. “We did some run-throughs in the snow, just watching the board from the get-go. I think that helped a lot. He’s keeping in contact with the board the whole time and he’s more focused. He has the tools. It’s just about him hitting the board. He had five good jumps out of seven last night, and that’s what he needed to do. That’s very encouraging.”
Coker’s previous best jump of 20 feet, 9 inches came at last year’s Southeast Conference meet in Mt. Pleasant, where he took second place. His best jump this season was 19 feet, 10 inches, and came at the Central College Indoor in Pella last Friday.
“He’s been over 21 [feet] three or four times in his career, but he scratched,” Roth said. “He’s hit a couple of them this year we thought were 21. I’ve been here a long time, and there haven’t been a lot of 21-foot long jumpers in Washington’s school history. And he finished seventh.”
Coker may need another personal-best jump to qualify for the Drake Relays. The cut-off for last year’s meet, Roth said, was 21-4.
Coker made the finals of the long jump, but he just missed the finals in the 60-meter dash. He finished 21st in 7.43 seconds, but he finished just over one-hundredth of a second outside of the top 16.
“He missed the finals by 16-thousandths of a second,” Roth said. “That’s how close it was.”
Sophomore Jacob Hennigan also came up just short of the finals in the 60-meter hurdles. He finished 22nd in 9.23 seconds, missing the finals by 0.18 seconds.
“He just gets more confidence all the time,” Roth said of Hennigan. “I’m excited to see him run 10 hurdles, but I think it’s going to be a while. He was the third-fastest sophomore last night, so that’s very outstanding.”
Junior Noah Lebsack finished 29th in the 800-meter run in 2:12.36, and classmate Austin Latcham was 42nd in 2:15.76.
Roth said all of his runners looked good at Tuesday’s meet.
“Friday’s meet at Central was a conditioning deal, and last night they ran one race and looked pretty smooth,” he said. “Everybody who ran looked pretty smooth.”
Washington Relays canceled
With four indoor meets in the books, Roth isn’t sure when his Demons will run again. The outdoor season was scheduled to begin on Thursday, but with the high temperature that day forecast to be just 34 degrees, the meet has been canceled. This will mark the first time in Roth’s 37 years as head coach of the Demons that the Washington Relays will not be held.
“We’ve never had these kinds of conditions in 37 years,” he said. “We’ve ran in the 50s before and finished in the 30s, but we’re not going to start in the 30s. We’re not going to hurt the kids.”
UNI-Dome, Cedar Falls
March 19, 2013
High jump — 18. Jesse Hootman (H) 5-6.
Long jump — 7. Alex Coker (W) 21-1, 32. Jesse Hootman (H) 18-4.75, 58. Jake Tate (H) 16-3.5, 59. Gregory Barber (H) 16-3.
Shot put — 37. Tommy Peterson (W) 39-11, 61. Jake Yeggy (H) 34-10.5, 62. Gregory Barber (H) 34-9.
60-meter dash — 21. Alex Coker (W) 7.43, 59. Gage Redlinger (W) 7.69, 63. Derrick Stewart (H) 7.72, 82. Gregory Barber (H) 7.95, 82. Kody Wood (H) 7.95, 84. Tanner Knupp (W) 7.96.
200-meter dash — 67. Trey Brenneman (H) 26.14, 77. Tanner Knupp (W) 26.50, 90. Jesse Hootman (H) 26.94, 106. James McPherson (H) 29.88.
400-meter dash — 34. Chris Ford (H) 55.69, 100. Jacob Wilson (H) 1:02.21, 108. Ben Bean (H) 1:04.21.
800-meter run — 29. Noah Lebsack (W) 2:12.36, 42. Austin Latcham (W) 2:15.76, 65. Evan Mahler (H) 2:19.78, 94. Austin McCarthy (H) 2:31.07, 103. Luke Mahler (H) 3:13.38.
60-meter hurdles — 22. Jacob Hennigan (W) 9.23, 52. Ben Bean (H) 10.53.
4x200 — 32. Highland 1:43.51.
4x400 — 20. Highland 3:54.49.
4x800 — 27. Highland 9:25.05.