De Pere’s Mirkes wins Big East title
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – Lindsey Mirkes, a 2017 De Pere High School graduate, recently won the women’s high jump at the Big East Conference Indoor Championship in Geneva, Ohio.
Lindsey, the daughter of Jeff and Jackie Mirkes, is a junior at Marquette University in Milwaukee studying biomedical sciences.
“It was a long time coming,” said Mirkes, whose jump of 5-6 helped the Marquette women’s team finish second at the meet. “It seemed as though a runner-up finish was the best I’d do after also getting second at [the WIAA Division 1] state meet two times. Things finally fell into place, and I trusted in the process. I was injury-free, and I knew this was my year.”
Mirkes, who has a personal-best leap of 5-9.25, also played volleyball at De Pere.
“It was a special time in my life,” she said about De Pere. “My sophomore year, we won every meet and won the conference. My time there shaped me as a collegiate athlete. My coaches and teammates were the roots of my success.”
To the average viewer, it might seem jumping a few inches higher isn’t difficult, but Mirkes said it’s not as easy as it looks.
“The high jump is truly a sport of inches or centimeters,” she said. “There’s so much technique and timing where everything has to be spot-on to get higher heights. Even though it might not seem like it, two inches in our game is a lot.”
Mirkes said a challenging goal would be to eclipse the six-foot mark.
“I need to keep working on my technique, but the high jump also involves lots of mental preparation,” she said. “I know I have more in me [to jump higher].”
Like other colleges across the country, Marquette has transitioned to online classes due to COVID-19.
“The team was planning a trip to Tampa, and at first, we were simply worried about it getting canceled,” said Mirkes. “An hour later, the NCAA announced the whole season was gone. It was a huge shock, but my teammates have been a great support system.”
It was also reported the NCAA will grant another year of eligibility to athletes who missed their spring seasons.
“Since I’m only a junior, I would highly consider taking a redshirt year,” Mirkes said. “It’s hard for the seniors – their life is planned out after graduation, and now they have to decide if they want to come back as a graduate student for another year of athletics. We will see how things shake out.”