Ryan Good kept feeling like something was missing.
The first-year Lewiston-Altura High School assistant track and field coach had a successful high school career as a high jumper for Dover-Eyota/St. Charles in the mid-90’s qualifying for state three straight years during his sophomore to senior seasons even taking second in the 1996 MSHSL Class A meet.
But as soon as his own career was about to take off — about a week and a half before his final state meet — Good was involved in a car accident that gave him a punctured lung along with bumps and bruises that prematurely ended his track and field career.
“It kind of left a bad ending to my track career,” said Good, who now runs his own painting business, Second Nature Painting, during the day. “It just made it seem that there was something missing. I couldn’t leave it like that.”
Good really “got the itch” to get back into track in the past few years when he would drive past St. Charles High School and see the track and field jumpers practicing. In a funny coincidence, he ran into Lewiston-Altura jumper Evan Daley and his father, who Good knew from their fantasy football league, at the Winona County Fair last summer and asked who their high jumping coach was. He was surprised to find out the Cardinals didn’t have one. In February, he approached Cardinals coach Bruce Clark and soon he found himself on the Lewiston-Altura staff.
“It’s funny how life works out sometimes,” Good said.
Good did end up walking into a pretty solid situation. The Cardinals had two very talented jumpers in Marcus Weaver and Daley, who had both reached 6 feet, 2 inches the year before. As Good would tell you Weaver and Daley made it “pretty easy” for him saying “any coach would be lucky to have one of these caliber, but to have two is unheard of.” But Weaver and Daley would both tell you differently. The two have taken off this season with both punching their ticket to the state meet.
“We probably had the hops to go 6-4 last year maybe 6-5, but we didn’t have a coach so our form was raw and we would just learn ourselves,” Weaver said. “To go to 6-2 to 6-5 almost 6-7 for him (Daley) and then 6-2 to 6-7 for me just shows how much he has helped us. He would be videotaping us showing us what we need to do. Drills to get better. He’s the guy that got us to the heights we have this year.”
Daley seconded that emphasizing the impact Good has made when it comes to their approach and liftoff that helps them get higher easier.
“He really pushed us this year,” Daley said. “He really amplified the speed going into it, so we didn’t have to do so much work going up. It was just much better having a coach and being able to go into knowing that, ‘OK now I know I am prepared.’ It sure paid off.”
This year Weaver broke the Three Rivers Conference high jump record of 6-5 with a leap of 6-7 just a few weeks ago at the conference meet breaking over a 20-year record that once belonged to Good when he was at St. Charles. It was a cool moment.
“I told him that day, ‘Marcus, this is the one day, the one meet of the year where you have this chance,” Good said. “He went, ‘yup, yup,’ and sure enough he went up and did it.”
Daley and Weaver both jumped 6-5 at the Section 1A meet and appear to be favorites to podium at the state meet on Saturday. They will also both be participating in the triple jump where Weaver and Daley finished one, two, respectively, at Sections. Daley will also be in the long jump after leaping a personal best 21-8 at the Section meet.
“We are going to try and bring home both gold and silver from state,” Good said. “That would cap off the season perfectly.”