Minot High jumpers excelling
Minot High School boys track and field coach Aaron Klingbeil laughed when explaining the anomaly that is junior jumper Alex Yanosko.
“He doesn’t look like a triple jumper,” Klingbeil said. “There’s usually fairly good sized kids, but his (weight) is so much muscle it gets him through.”
The well-built quarterback and two-sport star used his bulk and speed to break the school record in the triple jump Tuesday in Dickinson. Wind was a factor in the 44-foot leap, but Klingbeil was quick to emphasize that Yanosko earned the record. The previous mark of 43-5.5 was set in 2009 by Alex Nelson.
“(Yanosko’s) been doing everything we ask for him, and then on top of that a morning-workout regime,” Klingbeil said. “He’s been pretty aggressive all winter. Usually you get a guy that strong, who is not fast, but he has a nice combination of being a big chunk of high school athlete, but still having the speed.”
Yanosko’s state-qualifier is the best triple jump in the state this season and he has also qualified in the long jump and as a member of the 400- and 800-meter relays.
“I wanted to be able to break that record,” Yanosko said. “Now that I have that record, it’s great and all, but I have other things to handle too.”
Yanosko was not the only jumper to make a statement Tuesday. MHS sophomore Sophie Bengson has notched two state-qualifying marks in her first season of triple jump and has qualified in as many events – four – as nine-time state champion and MHS senior Morgan Milbrath.
Bengson’s first qualifier in the triple jump (35-08) came last week in Bismarck. It was her first time competing in the event.
“I’m a hurdler, so there’s some jumping involved in that, so that might have something to do with it,” Bengson said. “I didn’t expect at all to qualify in triple jump, so that was a huge surprise for me. I was really surprised with long jump too because I haven’t done it in awhile.”
Bengson had not competed in the long jump since middle school, but qualifying there is not out of reason.
As a freshman, she focused on the hurdles events and has qualified in both of those too. Her fourth qualifier came as part of the 400-meter relay. She said the hurdles may be her strongest events, but the surprising success in the triple jump has her taking the field events just as serious.
“I’m working on it a lot more in practice and just fine-tuning my steps and everything so I can get as good as I can,” Bengson said.