For high school track and field athletes, the long jump is an exciting event that combines speed, power, and finesse. Many high schoolers wonder what distance they should aim for in the long jump to be considered average or above average among their high school peers.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: the average long jump distance for high school boys is around 18 feet, while the average for high school girls is around 14-15 feet.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the details around average long jump distances for high school athletes. We’ll look at the range of distances achieved by boys and girls at the high school level. We’ll also explore factors like age, height, and training that can impact average distances.

Read on to learn more about long jump benchmarks and how to set goals for your high school track season.

Typical High School Long Jump Distances

Average distances for high school boys

When it comes to high school boys’ long jump, the average distance can vary depending on various factors such as age, training, and natural ability. On average, a high school boy may achieve a long jump distance ranging from 16 to 20 feet.

However, it’s important to note that many factors can influence this average, including the level of competition and the specific region or state.

It’s also worth mentioning that some exceptionally talented high school boys have been known to achieve even greater distances. In fact, some athletes have jumped over 23 feet, setting remarkable records that inspire and motivate aspiring long jumpers.

Average distances for high school girls

For high school girls, the average long jump distance can also vary based on several factors including age, training, and natural ability. On average, a high school girl may achieve a long jump distance ranging from 13 to 17 feet.


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However, it’s important to remember that these numbers are just averages, and individual performances can differ significantly.

Just like their male counterparts, some exceptional high school girls have achieved remarkable long jump distances. Record-breaking performances by talented athletes have pushed the boundaries, with some girls reaching distances over 20 feet.

It’s important to note that while these average distances provide a general idea of what to expect in high school long jump, every athlete is unique and has their own potential for growth and improvement.

With proper training, dedication, and a love for the sport, any high school student can strive to achieve great distances in the long jump event.

What Impacts High School Long Jump Distances?

Age and physical maturity

One factor that greatly impacts high school long jump distances is the age and physical maturity of the athletes. As students progress through high school, their bodies undergo significant changes, including growth spurts and the development of muscle strength.

Generally, older and more physically mature athletes tend to have longer long jump distances compared to their younger counterparts. This is because their muscles are stronger and they have had more time to develop their jumping technique.


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Height and limb length

Another important factor that affects high school long jump distances is an athlete’s height and limb length. Athletes with longer legs and arms have a natural advantage in the long jump event, as they can generate more power and cover a greater distance with each jump.

However, it is important to note that height and limb length are not the sole determinants of success in the long jump. Proper technique, strength, and agility also play crucial roles in achieving greater distances.

Gender differences

There are noticeable differences in long jump distances between male and female high school athletes. On average, male athletes tend to have longer long jump distances compared to female athletes. This can be attributed to biological differences such as muscle mass and bone structure.

However, it is essential to remember that individual performance varies greatly, and there are exceptional female athletes who can achieve impressive long jump distances that rival those of their male counterparts.

Training and technique

Training and technique are paramount in determining long jump distances for high school athletes. Regular training, including strength and conditioning exercises, helps athletes develop the explosive power necessary for a successful long jump.

Additionally, mastering proper jumping technique, such as the approach run, takeoff, and landing, can significantly enhance jump distances. Coaches and trainers work closely with athletes to refine their technique and improve their overall performance.

It’s important to note that the factors mentioned above are not exhaustive, and there may be other individual and environmental factors that can influence high school long jump distances. Each athlete is unique, and their performance is a result of a combination of factors.


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Setting Goals for Your High School Long Jump

Setting goals is an essential part of any athletic endeavor, and the high school long jump is no exception. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced jumper, having clear goals can help you stay focused and motivated.

Here are some tips to help you set achievable goals for your high school long jump.

Compare your distances to benchmarks

One way to set goals for your high school long jump is to compare your distances to benchmarks. Look up the average long jump distance for high school athletes in your region or state. This information can give you a sense of where you currently stand and what you need to work towards.

Keep in mind that these benchmarks can vary depending on factors such as gender and age. 

Set realistic goals for improvement

When setting goals for your high school long jump, it’s important to be realistic. Consider your current ability level and any previous improvements you’ve made. Aim for gradual progress rather than setting unrealistic expectations that may lead to disappointment.

For example, if your current personal best is 15 feet, setting a goal of jumping 20 feet in a short period of time may not be feasible. Instead, focus on setting smaller, achievable goals that will lead to long-term improvement.

Focus on proper technique and speed

A key aspect of improving your long jump distance is focusing on proper technique and speed. Work with your coach to develop a training plan that emphasizes these areas. Practice drills that help you develop explosive power and speed, such as sprinting and plyometric exercises.

Additionally, pay attention to your approach and takeoff technique. The right technique can significantly impact your jump distance. 

Remember, setting goals for your high school long jump is not just about the numbers. It’s also about enjoying the process and embracing the challenges along the way. Stay motivated, stay focused, and most importantly, have fun!

High School Long Jump Tips and Strategies

Work on speed and plyometrics

In order to excel in the long jump, high school athletes need to focus on developing their speed and power. Incorporating speed training exercises, such as sprints and agility drills, can help improve an athlete’s explosiveness off the takeoff.

Additionally, plyometric exercises like box jumps and depth jumps can enhance muscle power and increase the ability to generate force during the jump.

According to a study from the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, athletes who incorporated plyometric training into their regular routine saw a significant improvement in their long jump performance compared to those who did not.

Practice a consistent approach

Consistency is key when it comes to the long jump. Athletes should work on developing a consistent approach, which includes the number of steps taken before the takeoff. By practicing the same approach repeatedly, athletes can improve their timing and accuracy, leading to more consistent and successful jumps.

The top long jumpers in the world have a highly consistent approach, with minimal variation in their step count from jump to jump.

Strengthen your takeoff leg

The takeoff leg plays a crucial role in the long jump, as it provides the power and propulsion needed to launch the body into the air. To maximize the distance of the jump, high school athletes should focus on strengthening their takeoff leg through specific exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises.

Research shows that athletes who had stronger takeoff leg muscles achieved greater distances in the long jump.

Maintain proper form in the air

While the takeoff is important, maintaining proper form in the air is equally crucial to achieving a successful long jump. Athletes should focus on extending their legs fully, keeping them parallel to the ground, and driving their arms forward during the flight phase.

Incorporating these tips and strategies into training routines can greatly improve a high school athlete’s long jump performance. By focusing on speed, consistency, strength, and form, athletes can increase their chances of achieving remarkable distances and reaching their full potential in the sport.

High School Long Jump Records and Top Performances

National high school records

When it comes to the long jump event, high school athletes have continued to push the boundaries of their abilities. Over the years, several impressive records have been set at the national level. One notable record is held by Tara Davis, who soared to an astonishing distance of 22 feet and 1 inch in 2017.

This incredible achievement showcases the immense talent and dedication of high school athletes in the long jump.


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Top boys’ distances

Among the top performers in the long jump, there have been exceptional male athletes who have left their mark. Some notable high school boys’ performances include Carl Lewis, who jumped an impressive 26 feet and 8.25 inches in 1979.

Another standout performer is Marquis Goodwin, who leaped 26 feet and 3.5 inches in 2009. These remarkable distances demonstrate the level of skill and athleticism displayed by high school male long jumpers.

Top girls’ distances

High school girls have also showcased their talent and determination in the long jump event. One standout performer is Kate Hall, who achieved a distance of 22 feet and 5.75 inches in 2015. 

These incredible distances achieved by high school female long jumpers highlight their commitment to excellence and their ability to compete at a high level.

Notable high school long jumpers

Throughout the history of high school track and field, there have been several notable long jumpers who have made a name for themselves.

One such athlete is Ja’Mari Ward, a two-time NCAA champion in the long jump and triple jump. He jumped 25-6.5 feet (7.80 meters) in high school, which is the Illinois state record.


While long jump distances can vary widely in high school, focusing on proper technique, speed development, and goal-setting can help you maximize your potential. With consistent training, most high school athletes can reach distance milestones like 15-18 feet for boys and 12-15 feet for girls.

Remember that your long jump performance depends on more than just distance – work on speed, explosiveness, and form as well. With dedication and smart preparation, you can hit personal bests and contribute points for your high school track and field team.

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