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The Mountaineer high jumpers are ready to compete in this years track season.
Courtesy: Sun Belt Conference
Track Preview: High Jump
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Wednesday 11/23/2016 (ET)
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Leading up the start of the indoor track season, appstatesports.com will preview each coach and their athletes. Today, we take an inside look at the Mountaineer high jumpers.

Coach Murphy’s Notes

“We were indoor champs last year, and it is going to take a very strong effort from everybody to repeat,” said coach Gary Murphy. “My girls did really well indoors, and a repeat of that will be necessary. The other event areas will have to be just as strong because the Sun Belt is a tough conference. Everything fell into place last year. Some people in other schools that should have done better didn’t and that allowed us to score more points. So it is certainly very possible for us to repeat, but we will have to hope that everybody does well when they need to.”

“The high jumpers this year are a lot stronger and a lot faster,” continued coach Murphy. “ We’ve only been jumping for a short time, but they are jumping well for this time of the year. My concern is that they don’t maintain their fitness over the break, it’s like starting all over again in January, and the indoor season is not that long. So we have to be ready for that.”

Preparing for the Season

During the eight-hour week training of the offseason, coach Murphy worked on conditioning and strength training and devoted one day a week to technical work. Once the jumpers entered into the 20-hour week period, they worked on event-specific drills like focusing on explosiveness through the knee drive to maximize height and fine-tuning the plant foot in their approach.

Soaring Over the Bar

For the women’s team, App State returns top jumpers Hunter Welborn, Makayla Roten and Libby Florence for the 2016-17 track season. Welborn was the Sun Belt runner-up in the high jump at the indoor championships and finish fourth in the event at the outdoor meet. Roten finished right behind Welborn in third at the indoor championships, which helped the Mountaineers win the team title. Rounding out the terrific trio of high jumpers is Florence who landed in seventh in the high jump at the indoor championships.

The Mountaineers returning on the men’s side are Nick Hinton and Cole Finch. Hinton landed in sixth place scoring three points for the Mountaineers at the indoor championships, and Finch placed tenth in the high jump clearing the bar at 6-2.25 at the indoor championships.

Joining Appalachian this year are freshmen Jordan Dale and Daniel Lauffenburger who will add more depth and talent in the dynamic high jump group. Dale won the high jump title at the NCHSAA 4A Conference championships four years in a row and placed at the indoor and outdoor state championship meet for four consecutive years. Lauffenburger was awarded Conference Runner of the Year and won the state championship in the high jump.

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