Go to an Independence High School football game, basketball game or track meet and one athlete will surely catch your attention. 

That athlete is Markus Guy.

After excellent seasons on the football field and the basketball court, Guy is making his presence known on the track with his speed and jumping ability.

Guy started with a bang this season by setting a new school record in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 6 inches. The jump broke the previous record held by Sam Sizemore, a record that had stood for 20 years.  

“Markus has surprised us a little so far, especially when he broke the school record on his first jump up in Bridgeport,” said Independence head coach Richard Meece. “He has consistently jumped in the 19s this season and the nice thing is he still has time to improve for the state meet.” 

Guy started competing in track in middle school, splitting time on the track and the baseball field. While in middle school, Guy competed in two events, the long jump and the 400-meter run. That has since grown into competing in four events — long jump, 4x200 relay, 400-meter run and the shuttle hurdles.

While watching Guy compete, it is easy to see he is not short on speed and athleticism, but more is needed to be a great runner and long jumper.

“In sprinting, you really have to learn how to hug the curve on the track,” explained Guy. “You have to lean in to the curve to stop yourself from drifting out. The further out you are in the lane, the longer it takes to run.”

The long jump, however, is a bit more complicated and is made up of four key elements that must be perfected in order to be successful. 

“First you have to get your strides right on the sprint, then you have your explode, which is how high you get up in the air. Then you have your air flight, which is how long you can keep yourself in the air, and then your landing,” said Guy. “Each element requires a different technique that you have to break down and practice.”

Numerous squats, lunges and box jumps have made Guy into a premier leaper. Not only on the track, but also on the basketball court where his leaping ability has stunned opponents with some vicious rejections.

“I’m a little short, so it is kind of weird, but I love to block shots,” said Guy, laughing.

Guy currently has the third-best long jump for Class AA and the seventh best time in the 400.

In the shuttle hurdles and the 4x200 relay, Guy is joined by Aaron Hunt, Austin Weis and Josh Sauls. 

The foursome has i mproved steadily in the shuttle hurdles, which requires a combination of speed and hurdling. 

Hunt and Weis are both accomplished in the 110-meter high hurdles. Along with the speed of Sauls and Guy, they have combined for the fourth-best AA time in the state this season.

At the Dickey’s BBQ Invitational Tuesday at Independence, Weis and Hunt finished first and second place, respectively, in the 110 high hurdles. 

Weis, coming off of a great junior year, is having another great season in the hurdles and holds the third-best time in the 300 intermediate hurdles and the seventh-best in the high hurdles.

Hunt is also a strong long jumper and jumped his career best of 19 feet on Tuesday.

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A couple of girls from Independence are also showing strong performances. Hannah Kincaid has the third-best AA long jump and Megan Testament has the third-best throw in the state with the discus.

Independence will host the Coalfield Conference Meet Tuesday, May 3. The regional tournament will be held Friday, May 13, in Charleston.

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Complete results were not available at press time.

— Email: rudy@

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