Stephanie Schafer, still only a freshman, recently broke the 23-year-old high jump record at Monte Vista High School of 5 feet 5 inches.
"She is a hard worker and an excellent competitor," said her coach Austin Glimme. "She has a lot of talent and many years to keep improving and going even higher."
Schafer was jumping for joy after she set the new record and said she thinks she can do 5 feet 8 inches. She competed a little bit in junior high but did not get serious until this year, she added.
"My Dad entered me in a CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) track event when I was really little so I grew up running track my entire life," she said about her start in the sport. "I watched people jump for a few years until I was finally able to jump in sixth grade, the age when you are allowed to perform this event in CYO. I have always loved the high jump event."
Besides the high jump she also competes in the 400-meter relay team and is looking forward to learning the hurdles next year.
In her spare time, Schafer likes to snowboard, dance, do trampoline and sing. In addition, she has a special talent: She can ride a unicycle and enjoys riding it around her neighborhood and various places. "It is a lot of fun and none of my friends know how to do it," she said
One of the keys to Schafer's success is training every day.
"I work on improving my technique, focusing on every jump, and strengthening my legs," she said. "A great high jumper is tall, limber, not afraid to jump high and has a good approach to the bar."
She wants to keep improving, go to the State Championships and hopefully get a college scholarship. You can bet the sky is the limit for all of Schafer's goals.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 27, 2005, 12:00 AM