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Myers soars at state meet

BLOOMINGTON — Andrew Myers has been fighting through pain for quite some time, but the Hub track and field standout gave it his all during the Illinois Top Times Indoor Championship at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington this past Saturday. After taking home first place in the high jump with a leap of 6-3 at the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Meet in Sterling, Myers cleared 6-1 at the state competition to land in ninth place overall. The two big jumps come after the senior was barely able to pass 5-7 at the Sycamore Indoor Meet due to lower body injuries. “It felt awesome,” Myers said. “I had been struggling in practice and in the last meet but everything started coming together at conference. It was definitely a new experience for me.”

Myers said he’s been dealing with patellar tendonitis since the beginning of the track and field season, and head coach John Dobbs said that Myers will be having surgery on Tuesday to fix an intestinal issue. But the senior pushed through the pain for one final indoor meet, and while he will be sidelined for an extended period of time, he said the experience at the state meet was a rewarding one.

“I knew it was my last indoor meet of my high school career and it was the first time I had a crowd of people watching me,” he said. “I didn’t want to disappoint. I won’t be high jumping until close to the end of the season but I’ll be using that time off to let my knees get better and I hope to come back and qualify for the outdoor state meet.” Myers has been high jumping for the Hubs since his freshman year, and the senior has been one of Rochelle’s most consistent athletes in the event. He said much of his success has been a result of his training in practice, which emphasizes speed, timing and how to position his body over the bar. “Speed is a big factor,” he said. “You have to be going as fast as possible in the last couple of steps. Knowing where the bar is underneath you is a big one that comes with practice because you have to know how long to keep your back arched and when to kick your feet up.” It’s no surprise that Myers was able to break the Rochelle Township High School vertical jump record last year, and the senior’s speed has increased dramatically as well. While he recovers from his injuries, Myers said he will remain focused on achieving his goals for the outdoor season, and he’s aiming for greater heights than what he’s surpassed during the indoor season. “I hope to clear 6-6 by the time I’m done,” he said. “I almost had it at the conference meet and I’m hoping that I can go higher once I’m healed up.”

Article courtesy of Rochelle News-Leader

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