Diamonds and Ice

Linn-Mar’s Hutcheson wins Dickinson high jump




By Jeff Johnson

The Gazette

CEDAR FALLS — It’s not supposed to work this way.

A kid decides to go out for his high-school track and field team for the first time his senior season, practices all of twice, then has his first meet. He wins the darned thing.

Welcome to the high jump, Nate Hutcheson. You’re apparently a natural.

“I’ve never done it before, so there’s no pressure on me or anything,” the Linn-Mar senior said after winning Monday’s all-classes A.D. Dickinson indoor meet at the UNI-Dome. “It’s just a really fun thing to do.”

Yeah, things are fun when you’ve got a knack for them, and Hutcheson’s obviously got a knack for this. He said he high jumped “a little bit” when he was in middle school, but never pursued the activity until being persuaded by coaches to go out this spring.

Despite a form you’d expect from a novice, he managed to clear 6-feet, 6 inches Monday, just missing at 6-7. For a little comparison, the Mississippi Valley Conference held its indoor meet at the UNI-Dome last week and the winner went 6-feet.

The winning jumper at last year’s outdoor state meet in Class 4A cleared 6-10. Hutcheson’s jump would have placed him fourth.

And the dude has little idea about what he’s doing, yet.

“My goal was 6-7, and I didn’t quite get that,” Hutcheson said. “That’s my height, and I think you’re supposed to be able to jump your height.

“I think I can get it, though. I was looking at the tape, and my shoulders were over (the bar) pretty good. I just need to get my form down. I don’t have very good form.”

Hutcheson said after the competition had been completed, one of the judges (a UNI high jumper) stopped him and gave him some tips on his form and approach. He said he competed with sprinter’s spikes, as he’s waiting for a pair of high jumper’s shoes that are on order.

“When you play as much basketball as I do, I guess you’ll develop some ups, you know?” Hutcheson said. “My form is terrible. I’ve got to get my hips up and stuff, get my back arched. Right now, I’m just going on (pure leaping ability), I guess.”

As Hutcheson mentioned, he is a basketball player, a 6-7 all-state forward who is headed to Western Michigan University this fall. He’s also the guy everyone remembers for getting suspended for the state basketball tournament two weeks ago.

Marion police cited him for a disorderly house after a party at his family residence got out of hand. Drinking was involved, though Hutcheson tested negative for alcohol.

“It’s been pretty difficult,” he said. “I really wanted to play in the state tournament and everything. But I’ve learned a ton from what’s happened. Letting all of my teammates down has really pushed me to try and be a better person.

“Most of all, I learned who I should be associating myself with. Because in the end, that’s what got me in trouble — the guys I associated myself with. It’s a learning process, a really tough, hard learning process. But it’s going to help me. I’ve got to turn it into a positive, you know?”

Linn-Mar ended up finishing second in Class 4A, losing by 10 points to unbeaten Ames in the championship game. Hutcheson was asked if he thought the outcome would have been different had he played.

“That’s hard to say,” he said. “I’m not trying to say anything about my teammates, but I think I would have been a better matchup on (prep all-American) Harrison Barnes. Just because I’m his size and athletic. But I can’t say yes or no.”



Linn-Mar/Cedar Falls game story

@xReporter default head:
@byline1:<aic:cstyle name =”[No character style]”/>By Jeff Johnson
@byline2:The Gazette
@Body copy justified:DES MOINES [–] Not even the suspension of arguably its best player could stop Linn-Mar[‘]s boys[‘] basketball team from doing what Linn-Mar always does: win its state tournament opener.
The Lions made it 7-for-7 all-time in the quarterfinals with an impressive 64-41 smackdown of Cedar Falls last night at Wells Fargo Arena. That perfect mark includes quarters victories the past six years.
Not only did this blowout come against a team Linn-Mar (22-2) lost to by 11 points at the end of the regular season, it came despite the absence of Nate Hutcheson. The versatile 6-foot-7 senior forward and Western Michigan signee was suspended by the school Tuesday for the rest of the season after it was discovered he hosted a party last weekend that involved alcohol.
[“]Our team really responded well to all the adversity,[“”] said Linn-Mar[‘]s Zach Bohannon, who led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds.
 [“]It[‘]s been tough, but I[‘]m just proud of the guys,[“”] said Linn-Mar Coach Chris Robertson, whose team plays Sioux City East-Bettendorf in the semifinals Friday afternoon at 3:15. [“]Everybody stepped up, everybody contributed, and that was the mindset we had. We knew we had a strong team, and we have a deep team, and we were going to be ready tonight.[“”]
Linn-Mar shot a scorching 57.8 percent from the field, a tribute mostly to great ball movement. The Lions [–] who had 17 assists, five from freshman point guard Marcus Paige and four from Bohannon [–] torched the nets at a 66.7-percent clip in the first half, building a 35-22 halftime lead.
That included 5 of 9 makes from 3-point land, four courtesy of shooting guard Drew Crawford. All 14 of his points came in the first half.
[“]We played in the U.S. Cellular Center a couple of times this year, played up at UNI last year,[“”] Crawford said. [“]So getting to play in the big environments before really helps a lot with your shooting.[“”]
[“]Our team chemistry was really (good) tonight from start to finish,[“”] said Bohannon.
Linn-Mar[‘]s strong defense played a role in the outcome, too. Cedar Falls (16-9) was limited to 37-percent field-goal shooting, 28 in the second half.
Only fine freshman point guard James Harrington got away at all, leading CF with 16 points. Andrew Wirth added 12.
[“]We came out a little slow,[“”] Wirth said. [“]We knew they would come out with a lot of energy considering they were a man down. We didn[‘]t match that.[“”]
[“]I think playing Cedar Falls the last game of the (regular) season, right before substate, was a key thing,[“”] said Bohannon. [“]We knew they were going to be a great team, they were playing great basketball at this time. We knew we had to be focused to get the win.[“”]
Focused they were, despite a difficult last couple of days.
[“]I[‘]m just really proud of our guys,[“”] Robertson said. [“]I thought we were really prepared tonight. I was proud of the way they played and am happy to have two more (games).[“”]