Penfield jumps into final RMAC championships

Cory Griffith
Posted 4/24/24

2019 NCHS alumni Alec Penfield is preparing to compete in his final RMAC championships for Chadron State College.

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Penfield jumps into final RMAC championships


CHADRON, NEBRASKA – Five years after graduating with the Niobrara County High School (NCHS) Class of 2019, Alec Penfield is winding down his time as a college student-athlete. The senior high jumper at Chadron State College has been among the best in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference since he arrived on campus, and with the final few weeks approaching fast, had a few moments to reminisce.

“It flew by in an instant,” said Penfield. “It seems like I just got here and now graduation is coming up May 4.”

The 2018 Wyoming State high school 2A Champion set a new personal record of 6 feet, 9 inches on his third attempt at the Doane University indoor meet this past season.

“Probably the highlight since I got here would have to be getting that PR at Doane,” he added.

So far this outdoor season he had a frustrating day in Vermillion, South Dakota. Last weekend in Kearney, Nebraska, Penfield finished sixth. 

Coming up this weekend, the Eagles travel to the RMAC Conference Championships in Grand Junction, Colorado, from April 26-28. Currently sitting fifth in the RMAC, it appears 6-10 will be what Penfield needs to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships.

“He sends me videos of his jumps and we talk about it still,” NCHS high jump coach Sandra Johnson said. “It’s great seeing him compete athletically and doing well academically.”

Penfield will be graduating with a sports and recreation management degree and a minor in sports science which will give him a variety of pursuits to chase. The three-time academic all-conference jumper doesn’t have anything solid lined up yet after graduation, though is looking to start the next chapter.

“It’s a really broad degree that will allow me to become a coach, athletic director, sports management – there’s a lot of options,” Penfield added. “I’d like to get in to coaching and be able to give my knowledge and experience back to younger kids.”

 “I’m super proud of Alec and what he’s done,” NCHS boys track and field head coach Jim Lyons said. “I think being involved like that has been a big benefit to him and it’s just a great success story.”

“Skinny” is what some of us former baseball coaches used to call him, and while Alec was not a high school superstar, he’s found a calling and has a note for future NCHS student-athletes.

“It was so unexpected but when you work hard, keep your head down and do the right things, it’s kind of weird how life can take you where you never dreamed possible,” Penfield noted. “I’ve noticed some of the recent signings and it just goes to show how many great athletes come from so many great coaches and teachers we have in Lusk.”

Alec is the son of Dick and Jennifer Penfield of Lusk.