Butch Starmack should be shaking in his boots right now. He might not know it, but his days could be numbered as Michigan’s record holder in the triple jump. Starmack’s 19-year reign is in danger of being overthrown by 19-year-old sophomore Michael Whitehead.

Whitehead showed he was one of the top triple jumpers in the conference last year when he placed third overall in the Big Ten Indoor Championships. His personal record of 51-1 is just 14 1/4 inches away of Michigan’s record — a record holding on for dear life.

“My plan for (the Boston Indoor Games) is to break the school record,” Whitehead said, referring to this weekend’s event at Boston University. “I will crush it. I want to go 54 (feet) by the end of this year.”

Fifty-four feet should be good enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships, a benchmark Whitehead expects to achieve.

“It would definitely be a disappointment if I didn’t make it,” Whitehead said. “Because I want to go 54 (feet) and because I think I can go 54, that should put me around fifth or sixth nationally. It will be a disappointment if I go anywhere lower than eighth.”

Whitehead looks, talks and struts like a star football player. He carries himself with a certain swagger, adding a little hop, skip and jump to his step — a technique he also displays in the triple jump. Coming out of Norristown Area High School in Pennsylvania, Whitehead was recruited to play wide receiver and cornerback at schools like Iowa and Virginia. He claims a 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical leap.

Whitehead wants to add a similar swagger to a field event that lacks widespread interest. He knows the triple jump is not the sexiest or the most recognizable event, but he feels he can add a little flavor to it.

“It’s not the glamour event, but, if the person who does it is glamorous, then it becomes the glamour event,” Whitehead said. “The triple jump is graceful and elegant, but, at the same time, you have to have a certain amount of power for it. People will understand the triple jump when I get done with it. Football players who know me know what the triple jump is.”

Whitehead is also looking to garner some respect for his teammates, especially his fellow field athletes.

“People forget to look at us nationally, but we finished fifth overall last year,” Whitehead said. “We got cannons out here. Our jump and sprint group will show up (at the NCAA championship). We will show up as a team. We will show up unified. … I just want to say that our track team has really been disrespected as far as getting the clout we deserve on the national level.”

If the Wolverines can carry themselves with a similar confidence, Whitehead believes some of that “clout” will come their way.

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