Athlete of the Week: Fayetteville-Manlius’s Harper Stoppacher

Athlete of the Week

MANLIUS, N.Y. (WYSR-TV) — Harper Stoppacher is soaring to new heights, literally. Believe it or not, the Fayetteville-Manlius star hated running growing up.

“My mom has been running her whole life. She made me do the elementary running clubs and I thought running was awful.”

It wasn’t until her sophomore year of high school when she realizes there was more to the sport than just running.

“I didn’t actually high jump until that spring. My coach thought that since I played volleyball I could jump high. We tried it. The technique was difficult but I made progress.”

It was history from there.

“It was one of the last meets of the season where I cleared 5 feet. I thought to myself maybe I can do this. That was when I realized I should be focusing on this.”

Harper also plays volleyball and relates a lot of that to when she’s high jumping at a meet.

“Like serving and like volleyball, people have their routines. You just gotta do it. I take my foot and skootch it on the line. Then I count to three in my head and take a deep breath and just go.”

Harper hasn’t decided where she wants to attend college in the fall but would love to continue this running journey at the next level if she gets the opportunity to do so.

“I thing the whole family aspect of track and field and jumping would be so great to have.”

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