First of all, how did you first get involved with track and field?
I first got involved with track by going to my sister Ashley's meets. I joined in 8th grade because she thought it would be something fun for me to do.
What are all your personal records?
My personal records are 6'10" in high jump, 22'5 1/2" in long jump, and 43'5.5" in triple jump.
Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
I played hockey for ten years up until my sophomore year, and I also played football as a running back.
When you first joined track, what attracted you to jumping, and high jumping in particular?
To be honest, the thing that attracted me to high jump was the big giant mat. I saw it during practice and all I wanted to do was jump on it. Plus, my sister also was a high jumper, so it kind of went together well.
What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
My favorite competition would be my conference meet last year (my junior year) because that's the meet where I jumped 6'10" to break my personal record, school record (which I already had), and the NWSC record. But my most memorable competition would be the State Meet last year. It was the first meet where I had another competitor with me throughout the whole meet. That gave me that much more desire to win, which ended up pushing me to winning the meet.
Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?
Some people who have been the most helpful in my athletic career would be my mom and dad (of course). They have supported me throughout every decision, mess-up, bad meet, everything. Then my head coach, Jason Liston, has always believed in me from the very first day I joined high school track to even now still picking goals with me and helping reach them. My high jump coach Greg Kugler has always put me in my place. He's helped me know what I need to do, and just been supportive of me. And lastly, my head football coach Jeff Schlieff. With football being nearly year round at our school, he was constantly pushing me to be better, always telling me what he thought I could achieve, and setting what seemed like insane goals for me that he thought in his mind I could reach.
What types of insane goals did Coach Schlieff have in mind for you?
So for our football team, we do power clean maxes, and if you power clean 230 pounds, you get your name on the wall in front of the cleaning stations. Where coach Schlieff will write a saying, a goal, or something that reminds him of you. And when I power cleaned my 230, it was a surprise because I was the lightest one up on the wall by 20 pounds. And on the wall next to my name, he wrote for me the number "7". And at first I didn't understand it. But then he told me "I truly believe that you will reach 7 feet in high jump. That is for you to stay focused and motivated to reach that height."
What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?
A challenge in my athletic career that I have faced would be staying calm and regrouping myself. I've always struggled with beating myself up over simple mistakes I make, or just coming down from my excitement after setting a PR.
What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?
My main goals this year would be breaking the state record in high jump of 7'1", and win State in both high jump and long jump.
That 7'1" high jump record is Minnesota's oldest high school track record, set back in 1973. What would it mean for you to break it?
Breaking that record would mean so much to me. It would mean all this hard work and dedication I have put into this sport would finally have paid off, and I am determined to break it.
Do you have any college plans?
I am committed to the University of Minnesota for track and field, where I am undecided on my major.
What were some of the things that attracted you to the U?
Some of the things that got my attention at the U would be the great indoor facility, and how they are going to have an all-new outdoor track my sophomore season. But also all the wonderful resources and help that is available for school too. It also helps being close enough to home where I could take a short 20 minute bus ride back or stay far away if I wanted.
Anothny with his mom and grandma (Photo provided by Anthony Fleischfresser)
Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
The main ritual I have would be that before every jump, I do a little step back with one foot, then go up onto my toes, and then do that 3 times.
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
When not doing track, you can find me hanging out with my friends.
Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.
One bizarre fact about me is that I grew eight inches and gained 30 pounds in 8th grade, but I have not changed much since then.