|Jim Dilling won four NCAA high jump|
titles during his career at Minnesota State
A five-time All-American during his MSU career, Dilling claimed the USA national outdoor track & field high jump championship in 2007 and competed at the world championships as a member of Team USA that same year. He's battled through injuries since then, but judging by recent results, finally appears to be healthy again. The Fon du Lac, Wis., native was in Mankato this past week and stopped by for a chat.
What's being going on in your career since you left MSU in 2007?
JD: Well, after the 2007 season, where I finished up at MSU and then made the USA world team, I met Cliff Rovelto (head track & field coach at Kansas State and head high jump coach for Team USA) and became friends with Jesse Williams (USC high jumper), who was training with Coach Rovelto. So I moved to Manhattan, Kan., and have been based out of there the last three-four years. I originally went to train for the 2008 Olympic Trials and stayed. Around that time I began to deal with some foot injury issues and some issues with my achilles tendon. I tried to deal with that nonsurgically for about a year, but then I ruptured the bursa sac at the 2009 USA championships and had an MRI where they found a tear. I had surgery in fall of 2009 and another in March of 2010. So, I basically sat out for 16 months and missed the 2010 USA championships. But I started training again last year, opened with my first meet this past February and had my best opening-height ever (7-4.25) at the Kansas State Wildcat Invite. Then I placed fifth at indoor nationals and trained for outdoor nationals where I went 7-5.34 - my best result since the 2007 season.
What are you doing now?
JD: I just got back from Europe after six weeks of competing. Now we'll go back to Kansas to train for a couple months to train for the Pan Am Games, which take place in Mexico in October (he's a member of Team USA). After that I'm coming back to MSU work on my master's, to help coach the Mavericks and to train for my last season.
JD: Well, possibly my last season. The Olympic Trials for 2012 London are in Eugene in July. We'll give it a shot there and see how it goes.
What are your chances?
JD: We'll see what happens that day. You have to jump two rounds and you have to finish in the top three at the end. I've met the world standard (7-5 3/5), so that's my goal.
Here's a question. Cuba's Javier Sotomayor set the high jump world record in 1989 when he became the first to clear 8 feet (in 1993 he upped his record to 8-0.5) Can anyone approach that these days?
JD: That's a good question, I don't know. At his time, Sotomayor was Usain Bolt - someone with freakish talent and way better than anyone else in his event. Someone who comes along once every century. You never know, there's a few guys. Ivan Ukhov has consistently been going 7-9, 7-10 indoors this year.
Eventually, Jim, long-term, what's in store?
JD: We'll see. I have these short term goals now. If you recall, I came here originally to play football and ended up high jumping, so you never know what life is going to hand you. I'd like to take this high-jumping thing as far as I can.
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