Friday, September 18, 2020
Sept. 18, 2020

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Boys Track and Field: Bishop gets right down to business in high jump

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The Columbian
Published:

Alex Bishop’s track and field meet-day routine is one of a kind: there is no routine.

No warmups, and no stretching. Bishop just jumps.

Track and field’s vertical jumps — high jump and pole vault — require athletes to enter a competition at the height of their choice.

Bishop isn’t like most elite jumpers. He enters a competition at a low height, and slowly works his way up.

And that suites the Woodland High senior just perfectly in more ways than one at an event and sport that’s turned into his specialty.

“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” he said. “It’s been working for me.”

For Bishop, the only aspect of his high jump routine that’s different is his annual trend upward to back-to-back top-3 podium finishes at the Class 2A state meet. A state title within his grasp at last spring’s state meet at Mount Tahoma Stadium when Bishop cleared a personal-best 6-6, only to have Colby White of W.F. West clear that same height on his last attempt and later win the competition at 6-7. Bishop placed second.

While bummed, Bishop wasn’t disappointed in the performance. Spring weather and the energy of state helped him clear a new personal-best height by 2 inches in a competition jumps coach Andrew Johnson said after the meet were his best jumps all season.

That’s proving for motivation this spring.

“I’ve gotten there and so been close to winning state,” he said.

Bishop is only in his third year of track and field, and while it took time, success came. Natural athleticism made the jumping events an easy choice after friends urged him to put baseball aside sophomore year for track.

He hit the 6-foot benchmark for the first time at districts sophomore year, and has been climbing ever since.

“I had to get my steps down and start bending more,” Bishop said. “I was trying to do it with pure athleticism and jump straight over the bar. It wasn’t working. I had to get a lot of my form down.”

That’s led to big jumps, too. Once at state, Bishop’s 6-6 jump tied the school record set in 1999 by Jared Sloan.

Now, he wants more, including a state title.

“That’s motivating me to get back out there,” he said.

ATHLETES TO WATCH

Ryan Cibart, sr., Heritage: Middle-distance runner broke school record in 800 meters on his way to a third-place 4A state finish.

Daniel Maton, sr., Camas: UW-bound distance runner aims for a three-peat in the 4A 800 and 1600 meters.

Kyle Radosevich, sr., Ridgefield: State cross country runner-up placed sixth in 3200 meters at 2A state meet.

Tyler Flanagan, sr., Woodland: Versatile athlete is a two-time state qualifier in hurdles.

Lincoln Krog, sr., Stevenson: Defending 1A state high jump champion also placed second at state at triple jump and eighth in long jump.

Trey Knight, jr., Ridgefield: The junior is one of the nation’s top throwers and the reigning 2A state champion in the shot put and discus.

Bryan Tavera, sr., Ridgefield: Triple-jump specialist looks to defend his 2A title this spring.

Nolan Mickenham, sr., Prairie: One of area’s top sprinters placed third in 3A 100 meters and eighth in 3A 200 last spring.

KEY DATES

March 23: Annual Tiger Invitational at Battle Ground is the area’s first invitational of the season, drawing in teams from Washington and Oregon.

April 12: Columbia River hosts the John Ingram Twilight, with athletes competing from across Clark County.

May 3: The elite of the elite athletes head to Jesuit High School for the Nike/Jesuit Relays.

May 8-9: 4A and 3A district titles will be won at McKenzie Stadium.

May 17: Washougal’s Fishback Stadium is home to this year’s 2A district meet.

May 23-25: The top 4A, 3A and 2A athletes gather at Mount Tahoma Stadium. Small schools (1A, 2B, 1B) compete at Eastern Washington University.

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