Athlete. A 1975 graduate of Hastings High School, Phelps was the first Nebraskan to clear the 7-foot barrier in the high jump. He won three straight gold medals in the high jump at the state meet and, his senior season, broke the state record five times. He also was a three-year, three-sport letterman for the Tigers, competing in football and basketball. He earned All-Big 10 and all-state honorable mention in football and basketball. He was the 1975 Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star Athlete of the Year. At the University of Nebraska, he was a three-year letterman in track and the 1978 Big Eight indoor and outdoor champion in the high jump.
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