Puyallup: Sports

Rogers’ Mark sets school long jump record; just misses state placement

Rogers’ Loren Mark competes in the long jump event during the Class 4A West Central/Southwest District meet May 19 at French Field.
Rogers’ Loren Mark competes in the long jump event during the Class 4A West Central/Southwest District meet May 19 at French Field. jbessex@gateline.com

Led by sophomore Loren Mark, the Rogers High boys track team has a lot of potential going forward.

“We’re just hungry for it to be our time,” Mark said.

With a young, up-and-coming team backed by Mark (long jump), Taylor Murchison (hurdles) and Omarei Gregory (triple jump), the Rams have a lot to like moving forward, as this trio is the next wave of talent for the Rogers track and field program.

Mark was the only one of the trio to reach Star Track XXXIV at Mount Tahoma Stadium, but the sophomore was unable to reach the finals in the 4A long jump.

“I (wanted) to get somewhere in the mid-22s (feet), and place pretty high this year,” Mark said.

He finished at 19 feet, 8 3/4 inches, two feet shorter than his personal best on the year, 21-11, which he set March 24.

“I’ve been in kind of a slump at my last couple of meets,” Mark said prior to competing at Star Track XXXIV.

“A lot of the young guys on the team are different,” Rogers coach Dan Carlson said. “The younger guys are out here having fun, enjoying their time together.”

Case in point, Mark and Murchison are often spotted together, playing one game or another, often leaving coaches perplexed on what they’ll do next.

“We like to have fun. It makes the practices seem less like work,” Murchison admitted.

Mark was caught attempting to try Murchison’s event, the hurdles, after the sophomore tried to long jump the hurdle, leaving Carlson shaking his head and laughing 50 yards away.

“They’re different. I can tell you that,” Carlson said with a laugh.

But even with their antics, the talent is there. Especially for Mark, who set Rogers’ school record in the long jump with his jump of 21-11.

After a rough freshman year, Mark is finally starting to hit his stride, and the sophomore doesn’t plan on letting up anytime soon.

Something I’m going to work on this summer is acceleration. I don’t accelerate like I want to, and I have to start further back than (what) other guys have to. That takes away from my stamina once I get to the board for my jump.

Loren Mark

“Something I’m going to work on this summer is acceleration,” Mark said. “I don’t accelerate like I want to, and I have to start further back than (what) other guys have to. That takes away from my stamina once I get to the board for my jump.”

With more training and experience, Mark hopes that by this time next year, he will have broken his own personal mark in the long jump. And if he can accomplish that feat, who knows where this young jumper’s career will go.

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