Pressure : 29.98 in
Dewpoint : 63.0 °
Wind : South
Five Star Performer: Tess Merrill
Track and field competition is the ultimate measuring stick for athletes. Each athlete tries to run a little faster, and jump a little further in every competition.
For this week's Aurora Cooperative Five Star Performer GI Northwest's Tess Merrill jumping a little further every time has already gotten her a track scholarship to UNL giving her four more years to see just how far and high she can go.
Pole vaulters are a different kind of athlete all together needing speed, strength and flexibility to jump over heights higher than a basketball hoop.
The Vikings' Tess Merrill possesses the right combination of the three but also brings another attribute to the pit.
"It's her drive. She doesn't like to lose. The first day she came to practice I could see that in her,"
Merrill's drive has vaulted her into the top ten in the state in three different events.
The senior is tied for tenth in the 100 meter hurdles, is fourth in the triple jump and second in the pole vault and she believes her success drives her teammates to better marks as well.
"It's, like, great for my team just like everybody builds off the motivation and the success and it really gets the whole team going, I think,"
So far this year Merrill hasn't had the greatest conditions for vaulting. Cold weather and cross winds have hindered her performances, but her vaulting coach believes with the right conditions the sky is the limit.
"I really think she could end up number two in the state maybe behind Jenny Green. And if she has a good day I don't see it's out of the question that she could hit that too. I know those are lofty goals but ah she has the potential,"
To reach former GICC Crusader Jenny Green Merrill will need to jump a foot and a half higher than her highest jump ever as Green's state record sits at 13'3" and the Viking just recently cleared 11'9".
While little time remains in the track season to break the record the Viking and her coach feel they are just one warm day away from record setting territory.
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