Juggling an intense schedule has not slowed down Lyman's Skyler Volmer's stellar sophomore season
Lyman sophomore Skyler Volmer has managed to be one of the top high jumpers in the state and ranks in the top four in all of Class A in triple jump, long jump, high jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
PRESHO, S.D. — It’s not easy being a track and field star who competes in three different field events and the 100-meter hurdle race, while also playing AAU basketball throughout the spring, but that’s exactly what Skyler Volmer does.
In the midst of her best track and field season yet and still playing AAU basketball for South Dakota Attack, the Lyman sophomore has managed to be one of the top high jumpers in the state and ranks in the top four in all of Class A in triple jump, long jump, high jump and the 100-meter hurdles.
Devoting time to so many different events in sports, Volmer’s competitive spirit has been the driving force of her success. So much so that even after posting a personal-best 16 feet, 10.75 inches in the long jump on April 21, she believed she could jump even farther if she jumped off her opposite leg. She jumped off her left leg during the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 7, but that resulted in the third shortest leap she made all season, prompting her to switch back to her right leg for the state meet.
In Volmer’s first high school season competing in long jump, she’s managed to win two meets in the event and has finished in the top three in five of the seven meets this season. She’s finished first in the 100-meter hurdle race five times this year as well as the high jump. Her 5-foot-5-inch leap in the high jump on April 21 tied her with Madison’s Audrey Nelson and Sioux Falls Jefferson’s Nancy Peter for the third-highest jump in the state.
She has also placed first in the triple jump three times this season, but ironically, Volmer spends the least amount of her time focusing on jumping and more of her practice days are spent on the track.
“What’s helped me so much over time is just how athletic I am and my ability to just get in the air and create some hang time,” Volmer said. “Most days though I start off with hurdles and I spend the most time working on hurdles because my jumping events come a little more natural to me. Jumping will get me sore so I want to stay rested and work on what needs more focus first.”
The amount of time dedicated to hurdles has paid dividends as Volmer most recently recorded her personal best time 16.14 on May 12 at the Western Great Plains Conference meet, making that the third-fastest 100-meter hurdle time amongst all Class B competition. That came five days after she set her previous personal best of 16.31 at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays on May 7.
In her field events, Volmer has performed well since last season when she finished 15th at state in triple jump with a 32-7.25 jump and fourth in high jump with a 4-11. This season, she’s surpassed her high jump mark at state six times as well her triple jump score twice.
Posting a top-three mark in the state earlier this season in long jump, head coach Tami McClanahan said Volmer’s coordination has been the key component to a lot of her improvement from her freshman to sophomore year.
“With her growing a couple inches, along with her coordination improving and consistently getting stronger, she’s been able to put it all together and have the season she’s having,” McClanahan said. “Her coordination getting better might have been the most important improvement this year. Especially in the triple jump and high jump because she’ll always be alright because of her athletic ability, but there’s other things to concern yourself about like arching your back and having the proper balance and that’s what she’s been working on.”
Volmer will be entering the Class A state meet on May 26 with a chance to top the podium in four different events. The 15-year-old won the high jump and triple jump at the Region 7B track and field meet. She also placed fourth in the long jump and runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles. Heading into the state meet, Volmer said she just wants to place in every event she competes in.
“Coming into state I want to make sure I’m getting my stride right, make sure I’m getting on the board right and that all my steps are where they need to be so that I perform well,” Volmer said. “Last year, I placed fourth in a couple events but this year it would be great to place in all of them. That’s my main goal for this year.”