Badger athletes jump into late-season form

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Kiersten Tricker of Badger clears the high jump bar at 5-feet Saturday at a meet at Canton GlenOak.

PLAIN TOWNSHIP — It’s not even mid-April and a couple of Badger High School high jumpers are in late-season form.

Braves senior Kiersten Tricker, who made last year’s Division III state meet, did more than just exceed last year’s heights.

She went 5-feet-5 in perfect conditions at the East Canton Invitational on April 6, besting the school record of 5-2.

That gives her plenty of confidence heading into the postseason meets next month.

“There’s pictures of me jumping up and down with my arms up,” Tricker said. “I’m yelling. It was a GREAT feeling.”

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Badger’s Suzanne Shaffer after clearing 5-0 at Saturday’s GlenOak Eagle Elite. She, along with teammate Kiersten Tricker, are two of the best high jumpers in the area. Both are looking to get to this year’s Division III state meet.

Sophomore Suzanne Shaffer only made 4-10 last year, but also reached the previous school record of 5-2 at East Canton.

“I was ecstatic when Suzanne jumped 5-0 to make that much improvement,” Albert said. “Now, she’s jumping 5-2. It was such an exciting day.”

It was something for a sophomore to reach that height so soon. She then finished third Saturday at the GlenOak Eagle Elite meet, while Tricker was fourth.

Two Division I athletes took the top two places. Both Badger athletes went 5-0 in the Saturday morning competition. Shaffer was third over Tricker on fewer misses.

“That was crazy for me,” said Shaffer of jumping 5-2 on April 6. “My goal was 5-0. I didn’t think I was able to get higher. Getting 5-2 was absolutely crazy for me. I’m so happy about it.”

Tricker has been in pressure situations before, so she knows how to handle it. She won a jump-off to go to last year’s state meet. Tricker shared her knowledge with her younger teammate.

“Continue practicing as much as I can just so I can improve on my form and jumping,” Tricker said.

“She helps me a lot with my jumping and form,” Shaffer said. “When we go to events, what to watch out for, when to start. She’s helpful in that aspect of that.”

The last time a Northeastern Athletic Conference jumper had great success at state was when Maplewood’s Jordan Moxley won the Division III high jump titles in 2010 and 2011.

Badger hopes it can send two high jumpers to the state meet in Tricker and Shaffer.

“It’s great to know both Suzanne and I could make it,” Tricker said. “I don’t think Badger has had two high jumpers go down to state before. That’s a new goal we can both work toward. It’s great for our school as well.”

“That would be amazing for both of us,” Shaffer said. “To have two high jumpers down there would be a really good experience for both of us. I’m trying to get there and I know Kiersten is too”

Having two make state would be better for not only Badger, but for both Tricker and Shaffer.

“It helps Kiersten is a senior,” Badger coach Carrie Albert said. “For competitions, it will help having both of them out there so they’re not out there by themselves.”