Pete Tremaine became Anoka track and field coach in 1993. One of his athletes, Troy Walz, set a school record in the triple jump that spring with a leap of 46 feet, 3 inches.
The mark stood for 21 years until sophomore Ky’Eric Baynes smashed it. Just a sophomore, Baynes posted a triple jump of 46-9¾ earlier in April indoors at the Wisconsin-River Falls All-American Invitational.
With the record performance, Baynes furthered the promise he showed as a freshman, when he placed second at the Hamline Elite Meet with a triple jump of 44-6¾.
More is expected of Baynes this spring in just his second season of triple-jumping. He is also competing through the lingering pain of a broken toe.
Baynes spoke with Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about starting the season fast, building confidence and having the support of a senior in his event who has been to state.
Q: How did you get into doing the triple jump?
A: It was actually coach who suggested it for me. Him and my teammates. I didn’t really want to do it; I didn’t like it at first. But then I got a real taste for it because I was good at it.
Q: You qualified for the Hamline Elite Meet last season but did not qualify for the state meet in June. What happened? Were you injured? Were you unable to put it all together at sections?
A: I was close. I could have had it. But I guess you could say I just choked. I felt a little nervous.
Q: You still had a solid freshman year. What did you do this summer to take your training up a notch?
A: I did some weight training and ran around in general. I was always active and never lazy.
Q: Let’s look at your school record triple jump. Did it feel like the type of day where you might jump well?
A: I was feeling good. I was loose, and anytime I’m loose it’s a good sign. I actually messed up on my first jump but I felt like I could go so much farther. I told coach, “I got this.” I just knew. I felt confident.
Q: Coach Tremaine said as good as the 46-foot jump was, with a little better technique it could have been 48 feet. Do you feel the same way?
A: Yeah, I think so. My landing is not so good. It needs to be better. Everything I didn’t do last year, I’m trying to do this year. And that’s learning the techniques more and doing the best I can. I’m really trying to gain more confidence. That’s what I actually need. I have the ability. All I need is the mindset.
Q: To have such a nice jump early this season — does that provide the confidence you’re looking for?
A: Yeah, it keeps me more focused.
Q: How helpful is it to have a teammate such as Mo Strong, a senior who has been to state twice in triple jump?
A: He’s great. He knows a lot of stuff and he helps me. He’ll tell me about the triple jump and things he’s seen or learned. There is competition between us. I make him better and he makes me better. It’s a great family thing we have. We’re like brothers in and out of sports.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574