Athlete of the Week: Carder poised for national competition


by Megan Stout

Senior high jumper and captain Luke Carder is raising the bar.

Carder has been setting and resetting his own high jumping records since his career began at Simpson.

“Luke is a very focused athlete. He is really concentrating on what he’s doing on the national level,” said men’s and women’s track and field coach Tim Byers.

Carder is currently ranked tenth in the nation, and he has been the Iowa Conference Athlete of the Week two times.

Last week, he tied his own indoor school record with a jump of 6 ft. 9in. In doing so, he provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Nationals meet. Last year, Carder qualified for both the NCAA Division III indoor and outdoor meets. He also set the outdoor school record in the high jump on his way to nationals last year with a jump of 6 ft. 9 1/2 in. Carder has won every meet so far this year –he took first on Jan. 19 at Buena Vista and again on Jan. 26 at Central, where he also placed fourth in the long jump. Carder then went on to win first in the high jump at the Hilltop Invitational on Feb. 2 and he placed first in the high jump on Feb. 9 at Cornell where he won the long jump as well.

It is no small feat that Carder has had this much success this year, as he has to compete against some tough competition.

The Iowa Conference is very strong in the men’s high jump–four men in the Iowa Conference qualified for nationals last year and all are returning this year.

“We have a good conference overall,” said Carder. “There are many quality athletes, and the IIAC is very competitive.”

Carder is a graduate of Indianola High School, and he started his high jumping career in seventh grade.

The indoor conference meet is on Feb. 22 and 23, and the indoor season will culminate at nationals on March 8 and 9.