Doug Phelps first Nebraskan to high jump 7 feet

Doug Phelps of Hastings High demonstrates his jumping style
during a workout session a couple of days after he had
cleared 7 feet during the Big Ten meet at Fremont in May
1975, which ranked among the top performances in the
nation at the time.

In 1975, Doug Phelps put his name and Hastings High in the record books.

Phelps was the first Nebraskan to surpass the 7-foot barrier in the high jump. His record-setting jump earned him Athlete of the Year honors by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star.

At the end of his final state meet, he also received a standing ovation from a crowd of more than 9,000 fans after clearing 6-10 for his third straight Class A gold medal. He also made a young fan’s dream come true when he accepted an autograph request. He was the star for the Tigers.

But maybe the most significant thing he took away from those successful jumps is that he could land them on a nice, soft mat — not a pile of sawdust.

“I was real lucky because there was a huge advancement in the technology of track and field at that time. My predecessors were jumping off asphalt and landing in sawdust or sand,” said Phelps, who was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

To read more, see Thursday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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