There was little time to talk Thursday for 2017 Northridge High School graduate Sam Grewe.
Grewe was jumping on a plane less than an hour after claiming a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The University of Notre Dame student, who’s a pre-med major, finished with a lunge of 6-1 1/4 in the high jump.
Someone who was very excited to see another standout showing from Grewe was Kyle Mishler. Mishler, an assistant track coach at Goshen College, is Grewe’s personal coach.
“I was watching it on the Olympic channel at my house,” said Mishler. “He would have preferred to have a better day jumping, but his goal was to win another world championship and he did that.
“He was leaving from the track and flying back home. He wasn’t even going back to his hotel. He has to prepare for end of semester finals that are coming up. He wanted to come back for the Notre Dame football game on Saturday (against Navy). That was also part of his schedule.
“He’s excited to get some time off. He been involved with track season for a year straight and he’s ready to take a month or two off.”
Grewe, who lost his right leg to cancer in 2012 when he was 13, hasn’t let a disability slow his drive to be a successful athlete.
At the end of August, Grewe earned a gold medal and posted a world record performance of 6-2 3/4 in the high jump at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“It’s amazing to be in the position that I’m in now,” said Grewe after what he did in Peru. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into it.
“It has been quite a journey mentally and physically to recover from such a big event in my life. To be able to overcome and thrive and be able to compete on the international stage is more than what I could have expected.”
Mishler, who set the outdoor high jump record (6-8) at Goshen College in 2014, last worked with Grewe about three weeks ago.
“He was home for fall break,” Mishler said. “He came over to Goshen College twice during that break. He also worked with me all last summer with me leading up to the Parapan American Games.
“I’m not really surprised that he’s had success because of his history. By 20 centimeters (in 6-foot range) he had a personal-best performance at the world championships in 2015.
“What has really impressed me the most is his attention to detail. The high jump is an intricate event. There’s so much going on in each jump and you have to be focused on the details. He started to get the basics down in the high jump in 2015. He gets better each time he jumps. Hopefully, he’ll get something big next year.”
The next big international event is the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.
“He plans to go to Tokyo and set another world record there,” Mishler said. “I think he can definitely go another inch or two and get in the 6-3, 6-4 range. Hopefully, he’ll have some good winter training with no injury issues and go into the summer with the proper technique, strength and stamina.”
Qualifying for the Paralympic Games takes place place in the summer at the U.S. National Championships.
“I would have a hard time thinking he wouldn’t make the team,” Mishler said.