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Tiger jumper has good day at FHSU Open

Published on -4/29/2012, 7:38 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Freshman high jumper Jordan Carlisle had jumped an NCAA Division II provisional mark of 2.04 meters (6 feet, 8 1/4 inches) in the indoor season for the Fort Hays State University track and field team, but hadn't jumped as well recently.

At the previous meet, Carlisle didn't clear two meters, the first time he hadn't met the standard.

Carlisle said he was bothered by stress and wasn't completely mentally focused. This week, though, Carlisle decided to come out "with a smile on my face."

The different emotions helped Carlisle enjoy a career-best 2.10 meter (6-10 3/4 inches) leap at the FHSU Open on Saturday at Lewis Field Stadium.

"It was awesome," he said. "I am on Cloud Nine right now."

Carlisle was shocked by the jump that surpassed the NCAA Division II provisional qualifying standard and likely earned him a spot in the national field. Carlisle moved into a tie for 14th place in Division II, according to directathletics.com. The top 16 make nationals.

"My ultimate goal was to get to nationals," he said.

Carlisle barely nicked the bar on the career-best attempt, but the standard didn't fall. Carlisle had never cleared 2.10 meters in practice. Carlisle, from St. Joseph, Mo., cleared 6-foot-6 once in high school, but has seen a significant improvement under veteran high jumping coach Ty Haas.

"I owe it all to him pretty much," Carlisle said. "I put in the work, but without him, I wouldn't have gotten there. Everything is different. Everything is better, and I couldn't imagine jumping for anybody else. We have fun with it, but he just knows what he is doing."

Carlisle immediately called his parents with the result and was planning on calling his brother next -- but several Fort Hays athletes heard about the mark and came up to congratulate him first.

"Totally different experience," he said. "I can't believe it."

Eigruber's future in doubt

Sophomore Anna Eigbruber took All-American honors in the indoor season when she finished eighth in the long jump.

In the outdoor season, Eigruber sits 16th nationally in the long jump with a leap of 5.83 meters (19-1 1/2 ), currently the last qualifying spot for nationals. In the triple jump, she stands 23rd with a mark of 11.85 meters 38-10 1/2).

However, Eigruber might not compete in collegiate track again.

At the April 11 K.T. Woodman Classic in Wichita, Eigruber jumped her season-best in the triple jump, but suffered a stress fracture in the medial part of her shin.

"It was usually bearable," she said. "I could take Aleve and it would go away. I jumped at Wichita and it was hard to stand. Just told myself to scratch myself out of the last couple jumps."

Eigruber wore a boot Saturday and is expected to miss four weeks. If Eigruber qualifies for nationals, she should be healthy by then. If she falls out of the top-16, Eigruber could compete at the Last Chance meet on May 13 in Emporia.

However, if Eigruber fails to keep her current position on the national list -- and doesn't qualify at the Last Chance meet -- she might never compete for the Tigers again.

Eigruber recently earned acceptance into the radiology program at the University of Kansas and will be there next year.

"Which means I won't be doing track for the next year," she said. "I am hoping this isn't it. I am hoping that when I come back that I will still be in shape just to do long jump. We will have to see."

Eigruber, the Tiger women's lone MIAA indoor champion, learned from former national champion Darcie Schmitz, who earned multiple All-American honors and set several school records for FHSU.

"She is not a mental case at all," Eigruber said. "She is always a gamer. She is always where she needs to be. Doesn't really worry about anything."

Eigruber said she "unfortunately" was a head case earlier in her career, but took Schmitz's relaxed approach and lept 18-11 1/4 at indoor nationals. She was the only Tiger, male or female, to compete at the national meet. This spring, Eigruber wanted to have another strong year. But she'll definitely miss out at conference next week.

"No medals there," she said. "I am just hoping that I stay 16th the next two weeks. It doesn't even matter what place I go (into nationals with). I just want to go."

Next to sophomore javelin thrower Makayla McPhail -- an automatic qualifier -- Eigruber and sophomore high jumper Gabriela Saravia are the Tiger women closest to national qualification. Saravia is tied for 14th nationally in the high jump with a mark of 1.7 meters (5-7). Saravia missed Saturday's meet because a neck injury suffered in a freak accident with high jump equipment Friday.

Dryden coming back

Sophomore Ashli Dryden, a former standout and school record holder in the triple jump at Hays High School, has fought a knee injury in the last month. Dryden called the knee still "a little iffy," but won the long jump with a leap of 5.42 meters, just off her personal best of 5.47 meters. The provisional mark is 5.65 meters. Saturday marked her first meet back from the knee injury.

"I have just been doing rehab," she said. "It's getting better, though. ... I didn't know what to really expect coming back from the injury. I wanted to do better."

Dryden first went to NAIA Southwestern College for volleyball and track, but came back to Fort Hays for financial reasons. She competes in only track now, a choice she calls "a lot less stressful." Dryden has also competed in the 400-meter relay and become one of the Tigers' top jumpers.

"It was just really expensive there," she said. "I loved the school and everything, but Fort Hays had open arms for me coming back here. It was nice. It's kind of nice to be back at home."

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