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East Troy’s Becca Buchholtz aims to break state’s high jump record

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JOHN N. BARRY
May 29, 2008
— The oldest girls WIAA track and field state record finally could fall at this weekend’s state meet in La Crosse.

Cedarburg’s Wendy Markham cleared a record-setting 6 feet in the Division 1 high jump in 1980.


East Troy senior Becca Buchholtz has her sights set on eclipsing the mark Friday.


Buchholtz set a Division 2 state record with a jump of 5-9 at last year’s state meet. She matched that in regional competition last week and has cleared 6 feet numerous times in practice.


“That’s my goal heading into state,” Buchholtz said of breaking Markham’s overall record. “I don’t want to sound cocky going into state, because you never know what can happen, but the record has been on my radar all season.


“It’s one of those records that a lot of people thought would never be broken,’’ she said. “So that makes it a really big deal to me.


“I’m confident in my abilities to do well at state, and if I have a great day, it could happen. I know I can clear 6 feet because I’ve done it in practice.”


Buchholtz’s story is even more amazing when you consider her brief background in track and field. She didn’t start competing in the sport until her freshman year, but she cleared a school-record 5-4 in high jump at her first outdoor meet and finished second at state in 2005.


Buchholtz won state titles in the high jump in 2006 and 2007, including her record-setting Division 2 jump a year ago.


Not limiting herself to one event, Buchholtz won the Division 2 triple jump last year and finished second in long jump. She’s the top seed in all three events heading into this year’s state meet and has her sights set on personal bests in all three.


Besides surpassing Markham’s record in the high jump, Buchholtz’s goals are to leap 38-5 in the triple jump—which would be a Division 2 record—and 18-5 in the long jump.


“I like to be pushed when I’m competing, and I know that’s what happens at state,” Buchholtz said. “Whenever somebody jumps further or higher than I have, then I get all nervous and tend to feed off of that.


“I’m an internet freak. I check the state (track and field) honor roll about every hour, and I get mad if it hasn’t been updated five minutes after a meet.


“I know what I’ve jumped and what I’m capable of jumping, and I know what everyone else in my event has done. That’s just the way I am.”


Buchholtz, the daughter of Don and Dawn Buchholtz, will take her talent to Michigan State University in the fall. Although she got offers from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota and many other Division I schools, the campus at East Lansing, Mich., proved to be the perfect fit.


“Everywhere I went to visit, the school had one good thing about it that I really liked, but some other things that kind of turned me off,” Buchholtz said. “I liked everything about Michigan State. The coaches, the campus, the academics. Everything was exactly what I was looking for.”


Buchholtz, who will likely compete only in high jump in college, would’ve won the Big Ten Conference outdoor championship this season with her jump of 5-9 at the WIAA regional meet. Wisconsin’s Megan Seidl won the Big Ten title with a jump of 5-8.75.


A Kohl Scholarship recipient and honor roll student, Buchholtz plans to major in education and hopes to teach, coach and work with children.


Her best advice to those entering East Troy High School next fall and hoping to follow in her footsteps: ‘Get involved in as many different things as possible.’ ’’


And if you can break a longtime state record along the way, even better.


The Buchholtz File

Person I admire most: My mom (Dawn).


Pregame routine: Wear comfortable clothes to school to help me relax.


Best sports memory: Setting a state record in the high jump at the state meet.


TV show I never miss: “Desperate Housewives.”


Favorite food: Kettle corn.


Favorite pastime: Being outside swimming or bicycling.


Favorite movie: “National Treasure.”


Most prized possession: A doll I got from my grandmother when I was 2.


Best invention in the last 100 years: Internet.


An unusual thing the average person wouldn’t know about me: I’m obsessed with the No. 23, which is also the day I was born.


Dream job: Coaching and working with kids.


If I could have one super power, it would be: Flying.


If I could play any other sport, it would be: Football.


Favorite all-time player (sports hero): Nadia Comaneci.


CD currently getting the most play: Taylor Swift.



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