TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee Heights grad Michael Hoffer entered the University of Nebraska as an already decorated track and field athlete.
“Pushing toward a new goal every day, that’s what’s pushed me to get where I’m at now,” he said.
At Shawnee Heights, he won three-straight Kansas state high-jump titles. He is also the 2018 Kansas Gatorade Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Now, Hoffer’s heading to Oregon for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championships. He is one of just five men who qualified for both the high jump and long jump.
“I would say, in the long jump this year, that definitely was something that at the beginning of the year, I didn’t think was going to happen,” Hoffer said. “I was strictly high jump for a while, for the past couple years.”
Hoffer developed microtears in the tendon of one of his knees after his senior year of high school. He was in constant pain, so he took some time off from the long jump.
“This year, I was finally able to get healthy,” Hoffer said. “My coach and I were like ‘Let’s do long jump. Let’s have some fun with it,’ and I ended up doing really well.”
Hoffer competes in the long jump Wednesday and the high jump Friday. There are always little things to improve on, but for now, he just has to do his thing.
“I can’t do anything differently,” Hoffer said. “This is a huge stage, something I’ve dreamt of. I have a great feeling, and I know with all the practice, I know that it’s going to lead to something great.”