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Jumping to new heights: L’Anse high jumper has a style all his own

Nathan Hochstein of L’Anse uses a jumping style unlike most competitors in high jump.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 11:31 AM EDT
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KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) - The Upper Peninsula track and field finals showcases the best athletes in our region.

But here’s one athlete you might have missed at the event held in Kingsford, because his specialties are the high jump and long jump.

Nathan Hochstein of L’Anse won both events at the U.P. Finals in Division 2 on Saturday, June 5.

He has a high jump style that’s pretty much all his own.

“In seventh grade, at the Ontonagon meet, I tried the actual flop and starting height was 4′2″ and I got out right at 4′2″ and said I’d never do high jump again,” Hochstein said in an interview. “So I didn’t do it the rest of seventh grade or eight grade.”

“In my freshman year, my coach talked me into it,” he said, “And we were in the Hancock meet and I said ‘Oh, let’s see how high I can get like this’ and I started getting up there. And I said, ‘Oh and I’ll do this until I can get this high with the flop.’ And I’ve never been able to get that high with the flop, so I’ve been going like this ever since.”

Hochstein describes his lead up to the jump.

“From the middle of the bar, I do a curve out for eleven steps and then I just, I don’t know, kind of straight on at a slight angle.”

“I was kind of confident and then I started talking to a few people who said they were getting 5′10″ and then I was like, ‘Oh maybe I’ll get second or third.’ They got out at a lower height and I was confident from there on,” Hochstein said

His coach also noted his unique style.

“You don’t get many student athletes that are as talented as he is, so, he has a lot of God-given gifts,” said L’Anse Track and Field Coach John Jacobson. “Initially, I didn’t even know if it was legal to jump that way. I’m like ‘Well, is that allowed?’ and I was informed that it was allowed and the height he was jumping at was just amazing, so he stayed with it.”

“You watch him do the long jump, and he’s so high in the air it’s unbelievable,” Jacobson said. “He’s capable of doing better. I’m just very happy that he’s only a junior and we get him back for another year.”

“My [personal record] is 6′1″ as a freshman, and I haven’t been able to get that since,” Hochstein said. “But, I’ve been working on the form, and my goal is to break our school record which is 6′4″.

In case you didn’t know, Hochstein is about 6′7″ and 160 pounds, and he also play football and basketball.

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