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Younie, TMP head to Holcomb

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

Thomas More Prep-Marian junior Samantha Younie doesn't want a repeat of last year.

The talented triple jumper showed the ability to hit big jumps, but she had trouble hitting the board.

At the regional last year, Younie scratched on all but one of her jumps, but fortunately for her, that one mark was good enough to qualify. And then at state, she scratched on all three preliminary jumps and finished with no distance recorded.

"I couldn't get on the board," Younie said.

So when new triple jump coach James Harris took over this spring, Younie said he placed an emphasis on working with her on her approach.

"When I found out he was our triple jumps coach, I was thankful because we never really worked on approach last year," she said.

Younie has a solid shot of making it out of the Class 3A regional on Friday at Holcomb. The meet starts at 3 p.m.

The top four 3A triple jumpers, according to track and field historian Carol Swenson's performance list, are at other regionals.

"She's got big jumps in her," said TMP head coach Matt Dumler. "She's been consistently jumping (33). We just need to take that extra step and go a little bigger."

Younie said she noticed a significant improvement with her approach.

"I usually scratch my first jump, but after that, I'm usually on consistently or we'll change something to where I get on the first time," Younie said. "After that, I just kind of go for it."

Younie, who also sprints for TMP, said she still hasn't reached her full potential. She jumped 34 feet as a freshman, and since, she has jumped in the 32s and 33s.

At the Mid-Central Activities Association championships last week at Lewis Field Stadium, she placed third with a leap of 33-0.

"I don't know what it is," Younie said about why she hasn't improved upon her freshman mark yet. "It's really frustrating, though."

Younie said Harris has worked with her on her phases. She said her second phase is too short compared to the rest.

"He's doing this thing where he has me hit these certain marks so I can try and stretch my phases," Younie said. "... I'm getting too far on the first phase and not as far on my other ones."

TMP, which finished second in 3A last year at state, could be one of the top contenders this season.

The Monarchs have talent at the top of their lineup with runners Heather Ruder and Allison Pfeifer and pole vaulter Megan Gottschalk. However, they'll need other athletes to step up as well and score some points.

Dumler said he's confident Younie could do that for his squad.

"She has experience in that environment," Dumler said. "We expect big things from her. .. She is a junior. She is one of our leaders now."