Steven Crafts, a junior long jumper for the Blaine track team, broke a longstanding school record in April, and last week he got to meet the man whose record he had beaten.
Ken Markusen was also a junior when he set the school long jump record in 1961, but he didn’t expect to break records that
day. In fact, he wasn’t even planning on competing in the long jump.
Markusen recalled that spring day at Meridian High School.
“I had finished my events which were the hurdles and the relay. We dropped the baton in the relay which was disappointing, so I was just kind of wandering around. I saw that no one from Blaine had signed up for the long jump, so I went for it. I got a fairly good jump off, but the sand pit wasn’t long enough and I hit the other side and twisted my ankle. My coach wasn’t very happy with me, because hurdles was what I was going to state for and he worried the injury would set me back. Luckily it was early enough in the season I was still able to go to the state meet.”
Markusen jumped 21'3" that day. His record would stand for 53 years, although two other Blaine students would tie it.
On April 25, at the Northwest Conference Meet at Civic Field in Bellingham, Crafts beat the record by an inch and a half with a jump of 21'4.5"
Crafts and Markusen met at Pipeline Fields, where Crafts’ sister had a t-ball game.