Spring Lake Park’s Anthony Fleischfresser wasn’t sure how his 2016 junior season would end up in the high jump. He finished third as a sophomore, clearing 6-foot-5. But Anoka’s Riley Rieck finished second that year as a junior with a jump of 6-foot-8 and returned as the favorite in 2016.
Fleischfresser was jumping his best toward the end of last season. At state, he cleared 6-foot-9 to win the Class 2A state title.
Now as the defending state champion, Fleischfresser has his eyes set on higher goals. His personal record is 6-foot-10. He hopes to clear 7-foot-1, which is the state record.
He has a narrow focus on those goals, without paying attention to the pressure of defending his state crown.
“I just focus on the goals that I have set throughout the year,” Fleischfresser said. “My main goal is to jump as high as I can. I want to go for the state record this year. I’m just focused on that and not worried about everybody else and what they’re thinking.”
In three meets so far, Fleischfresser has jumped 6-foot-8 with good clearance. Aside from the obvious leaping ability, technique plays a big part in a jumper’s performance.
“It’s mainly form when you get up higher,” he said. “So every practice I work a bit more on my form. I try to get my legs up higher or just jumping more to get it down.”
Fleischfresser also long jumps, triple jumps and runs on Spring Lake Park’s 4×100 relay team. His main focus last year was high jump, but he hopes to qualify for long jump as well this season.
His career will go well past the high school level, as Fleischfresser signed with the University of Minnesota track and field team.
“The facilities are amazing and they have a great coaching staff,” Fleischfresser said. “They have insane academic help, which is really nice. They have great facilities for academics, it’s close to home and I just loved the place.”
Until then, the bar is literally and figuratively set high for Fleischfresser as he finishes his high school career.