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A new height for Hein

Gabe Hein, Blooming Prairie, basketball, record, high jump, minnesota state university, mankato
Blooming Prairie’s Gabe Hein stands in front of the mat at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he set the school record high jump with a height of six feet, two inches. Submitted photo
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

After setting the single-game points record with 49 in the debut of his senior basketball season, Blooming Prairie’s Gabe Hein kicked off his track and field season with another record-setting performance, breaking the school high jump record with a leap of six feet, two inches.

Hein set his record height at an indoor meet at Minnesota State University, Mankato this past week, passing up Michael Thomas’s jump of six feet, one inch from the 2013 season.

“We were practicing earlier this week, and I hit the height, so going into the meet, I knew I had a chance. I think the adrenaline of it being the first meet kind of helped me get up there,” said Hein.

The senior hopes his initial performance is only a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Hein began high jumping in 2023 and has quickly improved each time he jumps, pushing him to continue raising the bar on his goals.

“I should have hit six-three, but I barely clipped the bar on my first attempt and on the second two, my legs were just dead. I went for it, because I know six-three is the qualifying height for state for Class A. That’s kind of my goal to hit that by mid-season to feel pretty confident. But I’ve had some people tell me I should be able to hit six-six or six-eight, and then I’d go to this camp called Kangaroo Track Club with an ex-Olympian,” said Hein.

Hein’s emergence as a high jump contender makes Blooming Prairie somewhat of a high-jump hotbed in the state, as teammate Annaka Forsberg is already a two-time state champion looking to defend her title as a senior this season.

According to Hein, having Forsberg as a teammate has been valuable for his development.

“She’s definitely been helpful. Her and Sam Smith have helped coach me a lot. Her technique is very good. Last season, I felt like I could muscle through my jumps, and I wasn’t getting the height I really needed to. So she’s helped me a ton with technique and form,” said Hein.

Hein and the Awesome Blossoms track and field teams will compete next at the first outdoor meet of the season at Hayfield High School on Tuesday, April 2, at 4:30 p.m.

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