Laf. boy jumps into national spotlight: wlfi.com

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A Wyandotte Elementary School schooler is jumping his way into the national spotlight.

11-year-old Cooper Boehm has been working with Lafayette Jeff High School track coaches over the years to perfect his long jump.

The 5th grader finished first in the long jump at the state track and field tournament, jumping eight feet, one inch.

Don't just sit there and (rock back and forth). You only do that three times. I jump on the third, Boehm explained. You got to bend your knees. Have your legs shoulder width apart.

He is one of five kids from Indiana who have qualified and the only one from the area. He also runs the 100 meter dash and competes in the softball throw.

Now, he is headed to the Hershey Track and Field Games in Pennsylvania.

It's just a bunch of fun to be able to make it to Hershey, he said. Getting to meet Carl Lewis, getting to go to Hershey Park. Getting to compete against the whole continent.

Last year, Boehm took the silver medal at Nationals, getting to meet several Olympic track and field athletes.

They stand up on the block and get their Olympic ribbon put on, said Boehm's mother Vania Boehm. Last year, Carl Lewis placed his second place ribbon on his neck. That was pretty much a thrill too.

Cooper Boehm said practicing isn't always fun. In fact, he didn't do much preparing before qualifying for state.

My mom just had to talk me into it, he said. I am (glad she did).

But, he is ready for the big time now.

I've taken a couple jogs. Rode my bike for a little while today. Do a couple of practice jumps, Cooper Boehm said.

No matter what happens at Nationals, Boehm's parents said they will be proud.

He has always been kind of a grasshopper. He has long, skinny muscular legs. It pretty much is a thrill to watch him jump, said Vania Boehm.

Boehm will compete at Nationals the first weekend in August.