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Jumping to new heights: North Scott's Skarich siblings share love for high jump

The high jump may not be the most mainstream event in track and field, but for the Skarich siblings, it's become a family affair.

ELDRIDGE, Iowa — The high jump may not be the most mainstream event in track and field, but for the Skarich siblings, it has become a family affair.

"It's unique what we're doing, I don't know if it's ever been done before. We always ask how each other's doing in practice and asking what they did, how high they got and trying to see if they're getting better from day to day. That's always fun," said North Scott senior Sam Skarich. 

Their love for the high jump stemmed from their mother, Paula, a former track athlete at the University of Northern Iowa. 

"My mom did it and like, it wasn't like she ran like the 800m sort of thing, but like she was decent at it," added North Scott sophomore, Sydney Skarich. "So now it's like been passed down to us. So I think that's really cool. Maybe I'll pass it down to my kids."

Like most sibling pairs, there is some bickering and fighting, but with the Skarich duo, their fights only stem from competition. 

"We're so competitive and I feel like being competitive brings us closer. So like, they'll have a meet and say he wins. I'm like, 'Okay, now I want to win the meet that I'm in and like, I want to see how high I can get.' Because if he wins, I want to win. It's just like stuff like that," Sydney said. 

However, Sam will be the first to tell you who his parents think is the better jumper. 

"Sydney 100 percent. My mom always gets mad at me when I get up to the higher heights. She's like fix you gotta do this, and I'm like, I'm trying it's not that easy. But when it comes to Sydney, she's like, 'Yeah, that's much better. You just gotta try to be like her,'" Sam said.

The Skarichs just wrapped up competing at the Drake Relays. Sydney finished top-25 in the high jump, and Sam broke a school record, jumping 6-feet, 9-inches to take third place.

"It's really an honor to be able to go to Drake. Like to have one person in your family, but having two people in your family at the same time is like something super special and it doesn't happen like often at all. So I think it's really special," Sydney said. 

The Skarichs hope their success does not stop at Drake, now shifting their focus on the postseason and a state championship. 

"Having one person that is family there that's unique, but two, that's even crazier. So that'd be super cool having my family with me, jumping together, hopefully winning it," Sam said. 

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