Napoleon’s Fleck breaks 31-year old high jump record, wins state title

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Napoleon’s Ryan Fleck can now officially forget last year. Those who
watched Fleck perform at the Division II state track and field
championships, though, will have a hard time forgetting him. Fleck broke a 31-year old meet record on June 7 when he cleared 7-1.5 to win the D-II high jump state title.


Napoleon’s Ryan Fleck can now officially forget last year. Those who watched Fleck perform at the Division II state track and field championships, though, will have a hard time forgetting him.

Fleck broke a 31-year old meet record on June 7 when he cleared 7-1.5 to win the D-II high jump state title. Bellbrook’s Kevin Bryant set the old mark of 7-0 in 1977.
The leap also established a new D-II state record, breaking the mark of 7-0.25 last tied by Jaye Bailey of Columbus Wehrle in 1982.

Fleck, who won the state title as a sophomore, placed seventh last year after a disastrous day that saw him go out after 6-0.

“It was definitely a stressful week (leading up to state),” said Fleck, the 2008 Huntington Bank/Ohio High Magazine Boys Field Event Performer of the Year. “You don’t like to use excuses, but yeah, I didn’t do very well at the state meet last year. You try to erase it from your mind but it’s always there in some capacity.”

Not any more. Fleck had three attempts at 7-2.5 and narrowly missed on the last one. Nursing an ankle injury earlier this season, Fleck said he finally felt healthy at the Greater Buckeye Conference meet on May 15, where he broke his own conference record (6-8.5).

Since then he’s taken off – literally. Fleck won the Elida District with a meet record leap of 7-0 and then went a meet record 6-11 at the Lexington Regional.

“Earlier in the season, I had some problems with my ankle and going into league was the first time my ankle was 100-percent,” Fleck said. “From there we just went back to practice and got it done.”

To get ready for the state meet Fleck jumped in the rain and sun, preparing himself for whatever elements he may face. Turned out his only real hurdle was the bar, which finally stopped him after history couldn’t.

“The thing with the high jump is you’re never ever going to beat the bar,” Fleck said. “The bar is always going to beat you and you always want more.”

A skilled athlete who earned All-Ohio honors in both football and basketball this year, Fleck will jump at Auburn University next season. He also weighed offers from LSU, Louisville, UCLA, Ohio State and USC.

Said Fleck: “I’m pretty satisfied with the state record. I’m pretty jacked.”

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