Tara Davis — the Agoura Hills star and one of the best high school athletes in the nation — watched closely as Anneke Moersdorf lined up her triple jump at the CIF-Southern Section Masters track and field meet in May.
Davis had to be asking herself — where did this girl come from?
While Davis had been making a name for herself crushing California competition in the triple jump and other events all season, it was only the San Luis Obispo High School sophomore’s sixth time competing in the event. Moersdorf was a relative unknown. Not when the meet was over.
Moersdorf set a school record with a mark of 40 feet, 2.25 inches in the triple jump to finish in second place, just two inches shy of eventual champion Davis’ winning mark. It was Moersdorf’s sixth consecutive personal record in seven weeks of competition. She went on to qualify for the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis, where she finished in sixth, earning an unexpected spot on the podium next to Davis.
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For her accomplishments, Moersdorf is The Tribune’s 2017 Girls Track and Field County Athlete of the Year.
Moersdorf said she looks up to Davis, who will join the University of Georgia in the fall.
“She holds a lot of confidence and is a really fun person to be around,” Moersdorf said. “The stress doesn’t get to her, and she is very competitive.”
You could say those very same things about Moersdorf. Her record-breaking jump at Masters came following a disappointing showing in the high jump, her bread-and-butter event.
“I knew (the triple jump) was my last chance to qualify for state,” Moersdorf said.
Andy Frokjer, Moersdorf’s father, said a lot of her success has to do with her early training in competitive gymnastics when she had no one to rely on but herself.
“When her competitive spirit kicks in, she is hard to beat,” Frokjer said.
Moersdorf was also the top high jumper in the county, finishing first at the SLO County Meet and PAC 8 Championships. She also had good showings in the long jump. But it was her postseason tear and podium finish at the State Meet that made her season so impressive, especially considering how far she came.
“Going into my first triple jump event (in April), I didn’t even know I could jump 30 feet. I was scared to sprint,” Moersdorf said.
She jumped 33-10.5. A little more than a month later she was competing with the best in the nation.
In the fall, she will turn her attention to volleyball, a new sport for her in which her 6-foot frame and jumping ability will come in handy.
Next spring, Moersdorf said, she might expand her track and field events to hurdles and throws with her eye on possibly competing in the heptathlon in the future.