Marcus Daley is keenly aware of both the physical and mental limitations of the high jump after two older brothers competed before him in the event.
Although one might physically be able to top out at a certain height, the mental aspect of the challenge ultimately could thwart the attempt.
But what’s helping the Davis High senior these days is branching out to other events.
Daley finished fifth in the high jump at the Class 5A state track and field championships one year ago, something Davis track coach Corbin Talley said Daley wants "to redeem himself" in, but he fared better in a new event. Daley jumped 23 feet to become a state champ at that competition in the long jump despite being introduced to the event only a year earlier.
"He kind of surprised us last year because he had just started in the long jump," Talley said.
So far, the Darts’ standout has jumped 22 feet, 7 inches this high school season.
"I get longer and longer as the year goes on," Daley said. "With the long jump, it’s a lot more aggression. It’s a straight shot. With the high jump, it’s more technical. The steps have to be dead on and you have to know exactly when to accelerate."
The Daley name has been common in the Davis school system as of late. Both of Marcus’ older brothers, Mathew and Conrad, competed in the high jump. Younger brother Curtis is a sophomore for the Darts, and another younger brother, 12-year-old Thomas, soon will join the fold.
Conrad Daley finished seventh in the high jump state competition in 2010. Marcus took third as a sophomore the next year.
Marcus Daley also is making a foray into some sprint races this season as a member of the Davis "A" foursome in the 400 relay.
All of the versatility, according to Daley and his coach, is providing some mental relaxation in regards to the high jump. And a looser approach just might be the ticket for gaining a pair of state championships in his senior year.
At least that’s the thinking.
"That’s what he’s going for," Talley said. "But there’s going to be some great competition at the state meet."
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