BY ROBERT L. BAKER
Cody DeBoer, a 2009 Montrose Area grad and Shippensburg University sophomore, can now add All-American to his trophy case following a long jump of 23 feet, 2 and 1/2 inches Friday evening at the NCAA Division II Indoor Nationals in New Mexico.
Out of 13 competing in the event, he finished in eighth place with the distance recorded on his second jump of the day, good enough for an All-America team medal.
DeBoer said Saturday that he felt his best distance of the indoor season at 24 feet and 1/4 inch just two weeks ago at the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship was within reach again, but it didn’t quite happen.
“Sure, I’d like to have placed a little higher,” DeBoer said, “but I feel really good about the All-American status and hope I can use that to take me to the next level.”
He said that moving from fifth place in Pennsylvania at the high school level (back in May 2009) at 22-3.25 to eighth in the nation at the college level is a leap he hadn’t really imagined but is now allowing to sink in.
DeBoer acknowledged his numbers Friday in Albuquerque were behind a pair of athletes who also recently beat him at the PSAC meet back in Pennsylvania: teammate Herman Kirkland’s seventh finish at 23-4 and 4-time national champion Nafee Harris of Indiana University of Pennsylvania whose prize-winning jump was 25-2.5
“I just need to do a little more strength training,” DeBoer said, “and I’ll do better in the outdoor season” which opens March 19.
“I’ll be back.”
DeBoer said that in addition to the long jump he expected to be running the 200 meters outdoors for Ship and was also looking forward to working on his speed for that event.
The history education major said he would like to be a coach one day so he can encourage others the way his coaches have inspired him.