(Feb. 21, 2020) Stephen Decatur junior Zachary Fuchsluger was the school’s lone representative at the 3A indoor track state championship on Tuesday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
Fuchsluger competed in the high jump in his state meet debut. He qualified for the championship for placing third in the event during the 3A Central Region meet on Feb. 5, where he recorded a high jump of 5 feet 6 inches.
Fuchsluger said he was a little nervous going into the state meet because he didn’t know what to expect.
His career best high jump is 5 feet 6 inches, but the starting height for states was 5 feet 8 inches.
“The opening height was higher than his PR, so he would have to PR just to make the first height, which is tough to do,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “He had three attempts that were all really close…”
“I got close, but I couldn’t make it work,” Fuchsluger said.
A few of the high jumpers were far superior than the rest of the field, while others were around Fuchsluger’s level, he said.
“The one thing that was nice is that I got to go through it and get experience and see what it’s all about, so if I go again I know what to expect,” he said.
“I think it was a good learning experience for him overall,” Stigler said. “I think he kind of exceeded expectations just to make it to the state meet so I was proud of his effort for that alone.”
Fuchsluger said he performed better than he expected this season.
“I surpassed my expectations,” he said.
Fuchsluger said he plans to participate in outdoor track, which kicks off Feb. 29. During the 2019 spring track season, Fuchsluger suffered an injury while hurdling during the first meet, so he never got to high jump.
Fuchsluger is looking forward to the outdoor track season. He plans to compete in the high jump as well as the long and triple jump events.
Stigler thought the indoor track season went well overall.
“We had a lot of new athletes and we saw some good growth during the season,” he said. “We have some people graduating, but there should be a good number of athletes returning as we had mainly underclassmen this year.”
During the team’s awards banquet last week, Stigler recognized several athletes.
The MVP awards went to juniors Mary Mergott and Liam Foley. Top Newcomer Awards were presented to freshmen Kai Ross and Taya Price.
Senior Alyssa Romano and junior Philip Becnel received Sportsmanship Awards.
Coaches Awards went to senior Caroline Gardner, junior Devon Kramer, sophomore Gavin McCabe and freshmen Carolina Novelli, Riley Calloway and Jaden Holland.
There is usually some turnover in the spring, Stigler said, as indoor track athletes compete in other sports, such as lacrosse, baseball or softball, but he expects to have some familiar faces and a pretty large number of new participants as well for outdoor track.