Luke Plummer leaps above the competition

McKenzie Lakey/The Observer

McKenzie Lakey/The Observer

Ryan Kinker, Staff Reporter

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In the life span of an athletic career, an athlete usually has a point that they realize the next level of competition is attainable for them. Central Washington University senior jumper Luke Plummer experienced this his sophomore year of high school.

“It was my fourth or fifth meet [of the year],” Plummer said. “I popped off a jump that I believe ended up being the school record by over a foot.”

Plummer didn’t really know he was even capable of reaching that level when he began his career, and didn’t expect such a good result so early.

“It was just one of those freak days,” Plummer said. “Everything just clicked and I had a huge personal record.”

At the Tacoma Invitational on April 10, 2010, Plummer, a sophomore at Peninsula High School at the time, with a triple jump of 13.63 meters, which broke the previous school record of 13.12 meters.

“Shortly after I got that mark as a sophomore, I started getting a lot of recruitment letters,” Plummer said. “They were pouring in weekly that year. It seemed like [jumping collegiately] would be a reality.”

Before setting his sights on college, Plummer continued to set new school records for both the long jump and triple jump.

He broke his own triple jump record once more his sophomore year, and again at the 3A Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Championships his senior year. He left Peninsula with the record standing at 14.27 meters.

Plummer broke the long jump record three times his sophomore year, once his junior year and yet again his senior year, leaving the mark at 6.69 meters.

After graduating high school in 2012, Plummer decided to come to CWU, where he has become one of the best jumpers in school history. Plummer has continued to jump well throughout his career, steadily rising in the record books for long jump and triple jump.

Competing in his final outdoor track season this year, Plummer has performed well enough to rise in the CWU record books.

At the Beach Invitational on April 15 and 16, Plummer had a triple jump that tallied at 14.98 meters, ranking second in school history. During the Spike Arlt Invitational April 22 and 23, CWU’s annual outdoor home meet, Plummer attained a 6.86 meter long jump that is currently third in school history. On Feb. 19 and 20, Plummer also hit a 14.99 meter triple jump at the 2016 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, which is the school record for indoor triple jump.

Even with success, injury concerns have been on Plummer’s mind at points in his career at CWU, especially dealing with jumping events that are so intense on the lower body. Despite this, injuries have never caused Plummer to miss a single GNAC Championship during his career.

“It’s definitely been a battle to stay healthy because the season is so long,” Plummer said. “It’s a battle of attrition, but it’s a blast.”

While setting records was never really a goal for Plummer, who is double majoring in exercise science and biology, he appreciates the experience that chasing records here has given him.

“It sucks to be so busy every weekend with meets and practice during the week,” Plummer said. “But it’s fun because you’re with fun people, doing something you love. The time has gone quick for sure.”

This past weekend, May 13 and 14 at the 2016 GNAC Championships, Plummer helped the Central men’s track team finish fourth by placing sixth in long jump, with a distance of 6.84 meters, and second in triple jump, with a distance of 14.56 meters.

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Luke Plummer leaps above the competition