Edward Feltrop clears 5 feet 8 inches for first place in his age division at the Sunflower State Games this past month. Feltrop qualified for nationals even though he hadn’t tried high jump in 20 years.
It had been 20 years since Edward Feltrop had last tried to clear a high jump bar, but he thought he would give it a shot anyway.
“It was more for amusement than anything,” Feltrop said. “The main focus for us was on our daughter competing, because she’s just a beginning high jumper. I really did it for my own entertainment while we were up there.”
Edward and his daughter, Whitney Feltrop, both competed in the 2012 Sunflower State Games in Topeka in July.
Edward placed first in high jump in the mens 44-49 age bracket, clearing 5 feet 8 inches. Whitney placed second in the girls 13-14 age bracket with a jump of 4 feet 6 inches. Whitney also competed in the 3,000-meter run, placing third with a time of 13:27.87 in the same age division.
Edward, 45, started high jumping back in high school. After graduating from high school in 1985, he continued to compete in high jump at the Show Me State Games in Missouri.
“The last time I jumped was in 1992, so this was my first time trying to get over a bar in 20 years,” Edward said. “The last time I jumped it was around 6-1/2 feet. I didn’t really know what to expect because I hadn’t done any type of training or flexibility work.”
Edward and his wife, Dawn Feltrop, made the trip to the Sunflower State Games to cheer on their daughter, who has been active in track and field. On the last day of registration, Edward decided to sign up, too.
“While we were up there watching her, I thought I might as well try to jump too,” Edward said.
After this year’s Sunflower State Games, Edward would like to keep competing in future high jump competitions.
“I think next year, I’m actually going to train for it and try to go to nationals,” he said. “I would like to get back to jumping around 6-2 or 6-3 before I go to nationals. I think I could do that if I spend some time preparing next year.”
Edward, whose career-best in high jump is 6 feet 6 inches, qualified for national competition with his first-place finish at the Sunflower State Games. He said he bypassed the national competition this year since he has not been training.
Whitney, 14, will be entering her sophomore season at Derby High School. She competed in track and field as a freshman and her current career-best in high jump is 4 feet 10 inches. She has competed in the Sunflower State Games in the past and said it was a unique experience jumping in the same competition as her father.
“It was neat to see him compete. He likes to critique me when I jump, so it was cool to be able to do the same to him,” she said, with a laugh.
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