Prep Athlete of the Week: Sarah Andersen, Marshall

Despite snow, snow and more snow, Marshall’s Sarah Andersen has made the most of her senior track season.

Andersen has recorded five first-place finishes and one second-place finish in the long and triple jumps over the three track meets the Tigers have had in the weather-shortened season.

And she’s just getting started.

“She’s very disciplined and dedicated. She comes and does what she needs to do,” said Marshall girls’ track coach Marie Sample. “She would like to get back to the state meet. She’s a good kid. It’s good to see her having success.”

Coming into the season, Andersen had hopes of getting outside to work on her jumping, but with the weather keeping the team indoors much of the season, she’s had to change her approach.

“We don’t really do much practicing for long and triple jump inside,” Andersen said. “We mostly just do the sprinting workout. We don’t really have anywhere to practice the jumps.”

Heading into their first meet at Mankato, Andersen and the rest of the jumpers had not taken a true jump.

“For Mankato we just ran through our steps to make sure our feet were good on the boards,” Andersen said. “(To jump) we just landed on a big thick mat. That was about it.”

But four first-place finishes say she was doing something right.

“She has some skill that she’s developed. She has a system down that works for her that she goes through,” Sample said. “It will be fun to see when we actually get some meets because she’ll jump really well.”

The Tigers were able to get outside for a short time before heading to Austin last Saturday, and Andersen continued her success, finishing first and second in the triple and long jump, respectively.

But Andersen isn’t happy with her results just yet.

“In the long jump, I had definitely hoped to get better, and triple jump is pretty much the same,” Andersen said. I wasn’t happy with my jumps.”

“It’s been hard,” Sample added. “We haven’t been able to get out and practice. She’s just going through the motions in the gym on a wood floor.”

With three meets under her belt, Andersen has reached 16 feet, 3.25 inches in the long jump and 33-11.75 in the triple jump, but she knows her ultimate goal of a podium finish in the triple jump at the state meet will take a lot of work.

“I was one place away from getting on the podium (last year) and I had my second-best jump of the season,” Andersen said. “I want to beat that.”

The fact that she only had a handful of meets where she triple jumped before competing in the state meet says even more about her ability.

“She’s done this for a little bit, although triple jump she just started last year with about three weeks to go,” Sample said. “She didn’t realize how good she was until she tried. It gets back to being a senior, being disciplined and knowing what you have to do to get the job done.”

With the weather finally changing for the better, Andersen is ready to get going again.

This time outside.

“Warmer weather is better to jump in,” Andersen said. “It will be great to get outside.”