Bachinski able to find consistency

The event specialist leaped over 7 feet four times during the indoor season.

Redshirt junior Nick Bachinski clears the bar Saturday at the University of Minnesota Field House for the second-annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Duel. Bachinski won the event, jumping a personal record of 2.14 meters.

Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Redshirt junior Nick Bachinski clears the bar Saturday at the University of Minnesota Field House for the second-annual Wisconsin vs. Minnesota Duel. Bachinski won the event, jumping a personal record of 2.14 meters.

Ryan Falk

One of the Gophers’ most consistent athletes has led the team at the beginning of the outdoor season.
 
 
Redshirt sophomore high jumper Nick Bachinski won his first outdoor competition last Saturday by clearing 2.13 meters or almost 7 feet.
 
 
Despite not clearing seven feet at the outdoor meet, the Lakeville native has cleared seven feet or more four times and earned his fourth event title after capturing three during the indoor season.
 
 
“I’ve been seeing a more confident approach,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “He’s always been a guy who’s keen to contribute.”
 
 
When he first came to the University, Bachinski competed in multiple events, including the high jump. He narrowed his focus after the 2015 indoor season to the event he’s been doing since high school track. 
 
 
“[The high jump] has always been my favorite,” Bachinski said. “It’s been easier focusing on one event. You can get into the specifics, and it’s been easier on my mind.”
 
 
Bachinski said he played baseball and basketball before starting track at Lakeville South High School. His father, a former track and field athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, convinced him to give the sport and the high jump a try.
 
 
“It was my goal to beat him,” Bachinski said. “This season I was able to beat his mark with seven feet.”
 
 
Bachinski cleared the seven-foot mark for the first time in the Gophers dual against Wisconsin on Jan. 23, and he’s been able to repeat the feat several times since then.
 
 
The consistency he’s been able to achieve in the high jump is not something Plasencia’s been able to see right away, however. 
 
 
“It wasn’t a lock that he would be a good Division I high jumper,” Plasencia said. “He’s been diligent, and that’s helped.”
 
 
The Gophers’ high jumpers have also been training differently this season, as Plasencia said they’ve been told to come into the jump faster. The jumpers have also been practicing more often this year.
 
 
“We started jumping two days instead of one,” Bachinski said. “Getting extra reps helps with consistency.” 
 
 
That consistency has been evident in Bachinski’s jumps so far this year, and now he’ll try keep elevating the remainder of the outdoor season.
 
 
“When you have success, you have fun,” Plasencia said. “If you’re not having fun at what you’re doing, you’re not happy. For him to find his niche is part of the process [of getting better].”