Heath Goertzen has qualified for state cross-country meets in the past, and this year he qualified for the state track and field meet, not in a running event but in triple jump. His previous best jump had been 40 feet, 11½ inches. His first two jumps on Friday were over 40 feet but his third jump landed at 41 feet, 9¼ inches.
“I feel pretty good about that jump, even if I don’t make finals,” Goertzen said while waiting for the rest of the field to finish.
Goertzen was in sixth place, and nine jumpers qualified for finals to jump three more times. One jumper passed Goertzen on his final jump, but Goertzen landed his career best jump on his final leap to go to 41 feet, 10 inches.
When the final results were tallied, the Goessel senior was tied for sixth place. Looking back at each jumper’s previous best distance for the day, Goertzen won sixth place by a quarter inch. The Goessel native closed his Bluebird career with a chance to stand on the medal podium and accept his sixth place medal.