Yes, there was a gusty wind at Germantown defending state long jump champ Shon Pratcher’s back when he unspooled his remarkable state best and top five all-time effort of 24 feet, three inches at the North Shore Conference outdoor track meet on May 16.
But it was still a prodigious effort.
Just ask no less an expert than long-time Homestead coach Dan Benson, himself a former state long jump champ at Tosa West in 1977 who witnessed Pratcher’s leap.
“I’m a long jump guy and I love tailwinds,” he said. “You jump that far, even with a tailwind, it’s still legit.”
Especially given the fact that Pratcher had just turned in another state and personal best of 23-3 at the Cedarburg True Team meet on May 11.
Pratcher admitted to being as surprised as anyone when his monster effort occurred on his third attempt.
“I knew I had the wind at my back,” he said, “and it felt good when I hit the board. I got some height and just let the wind carry me.
“When I looked down and heard the mark I just smiled and said ‘Thank God’. It was a little shocking. That one perfect jump.”
The WIAA state long jump record, the oldest state record in the books, is held by Larry Franklin of Madison Central (25- 3/4) and was set in 1965. Pratcher’s effort shattered the six-year old North Shore record held by Josh Dixon of Cedarburg (22-11.5)
Pratcher’s mark was not the only school record that he set that night, as his third place showing of 21.79 seconds in the 200-meter dash (also with the wind) broke the old Warhawks’ mark set by his coach Jared Foerch who helped Germantown 4×400 relay teams earn state titles in 2006 and 2007.
“He (Pratcher) was quite excited to point that out (the 200 record) out to me,” said an amused Foerch. “His long jump was also amazing and it’s hard to say if the wind even helped.”
Pratcher also won the triple jump with an effort of 44-7 3/4.
His efforts led the Warhawks to a fourth place effort in the team standings with 90.5 points as Homestead won with 141.5.
Earning seconds for Germantown were Cal Knapp in the shot put (48-2.5) and Riley Kellom in the discus (139-6), the 4×100 relay team of Waymon McNeal, Pratcher, Connor Leffler and Austin Mozdzen (43.23); and the 4×800 relay team of Jake Garvey, Ben Cincotta, Sean Drinan and Dylan Ayer (8:33.75).
Thirds were taken by freshman Ben Schnoor in the 3,200 (9:52.23) and Kellom in the shot put (48-2).
Foerch said it was great day overall with a lot of season and personal bests.