Humburg jumping well for Ness City
By CONOR NICHOLL
NESS CITY - Ness City senior Bree Humburg loves the triple jump. As a sophomore, she cleared 35 feet at the regional meet and eventually took seventh at the Class 2A state meet with a leap of 34-3.75.
"I am not real fast, but I can jump really good, so I just love being able to do good in it, and I love being able to jump really far and have that rush," Humburg said.
However, Humburg had some back problems last year and didn't get a chance to jump at state.
This season, Humburg has started slowly because of injury and was pulled from the season-opening La Crosse meet. She took a week off, but, helped by Ness City's new stretching program, is now rounding into form.
On Tuesday, the jumping competitors lept into the teeth of a very strong wind at the Ness City Invitational. Humburg set a goal to jump 33 feet, but Ness City jumps coach Stephanie Rebel lowered the goal to 32-8 because of the strong wind.
On her first attempt, Humburg jumped 32-9 to win the competition. When she heard her mark, a smiling Humburg said, "beat my goal."
"She always comes out solid, and she always has plenty of confidence in herself," Rebel said. "That's her event that she loves. She came out and had a nice one right away and was solid through the rest of them."
The Eagles have just seven girls, but all can score in a variety of events. Among the champions, senior Emily Hahn collected the 400-meter title, while senior Jessie Rubottom won the 800 crown, and Makenna Fritts won the 100. Rubottom also ran the 200 and 1,600-meter relay, events she normally doesn't do.
"Used a speed day for her today," coach Patrick Younger said.
On the boys' side, senior Dray Carson finished in 4 minutes, 38 seconds to win the 1,600-meter run. It matched his season-best and Class 2A leading time, according to state historian Carol Swenson's honor roll.
"He is right on schedule where we want him to be," Younger said.
In the past, Younger has hadn't researched deeply into warmup routines.
"I just felt like a lot of things that we did in the past for our warmup was just because I heard about it, rather than I think it's all that good," Younger said.
Younger spoke with Wichita State University's distance coach, who told Younger the Shockers started to incorporate some yoga into their warmup routines a couple of years ago. Younger saw other teams have used it, too.
"Some of the kids have really bought into it," Younger said.
Every day, Ness City uses different dynamic stretching exercises to improve the flexibility. Each Wednesday, the junior high and high school open practice with around 30 minutes of yoga.
"Coach Younger has been great getting us the best kind of warmups to get us all flexible and ready to go," Rebel said. "...Build the flexibility and put a stop to the random injuries that nobody wants to have."
On Tuesday, Humburg already had her eye on regionals, a meet she loves each year. A healthy Humburg is likely going to contend for a state medal. Four 2A girls have cleared 34-1 this season, though none from the area.
"I am hoping that everything will go good this year," she said.