May 8, 2012

After lackluster Twilight, high jumper looks to turn Paige

Fourth-year high jumper Paige Peltzer represented Chicago by herself this past weekend at the Wisconsin Twilight meet in Madison, WI.

Unfortunately, she topped out at a height of 1.51 meters, placing seventh out of 12 competitors.

“While I felt prepared for today and good through warm-up, I didn’t jump well at all today,” Peltzer said.

Peltzer was accompanied by fourth-years Nick Rockwell and Daniel Heck from the men’s team. The rest of the Maroons had the weekend off in order to rest after a fourth-place finish in the UAA Conference Championship.

Peltzer traveled to Wisconsin in order to gain extra opportunities to improve on her event marks before Nationals. Thus, her performance at the meet felt like a particular letdown.

“It was really frustrating because the weather was great and I felt great. My frustration is further impacted by the fact that we made a special trip up to Madison to compete,” Peltzer said.

After all meets reported from this past weekend, Peltzer fell in the national rankings to 19th place with a top height of 1.67 meters over the entire season. In previous years, the NCAA simply set a provisional mark that competitors across the nation had to meet in order to qualify for Nationals. The mark last year was 1.65 meters for the high jump. This year, the NCAA did away with the old system and declared that the top 22 high jumpers in the country would qualify for Nationals.

As the rankings currently stand, Peltzer’s top height is only a 10th of a meter ahead of 22nd place, and 0.2 meters away from not qualifying.

Peltzer remains dedicated to the task.

“I came to the meet to get a better performance in preparation for Nationals,” Peltzer said. “I’ll have to practice being consistent in these next few weeks and hope that that benefits me in the two remaining meets.”

This weekend, the Maroons will host the Chicago Penultimate in their own backyard in another effort to solidify existing national rankings and qualify as many more competitors for Nationals as possible. The following weekend, the South Siders will travel to Naperville, IL to compete in the North Central Last Chance Meet.

In three weeks, teams from all over the United States will travel to Claremont, CA to compete for a national title. With time running out before Nationals, the Maroons can only continue to work hard and improve. If all goes as planned, many individual South Siders could extend their season into late May.