Ashley Callahan, the defending CIF-State Meet champion in the pole vault, established a meet record on Saturday at LEAP Fest, a jumps-only meet held at Santa Ana Mater Dei HS. (Credit: Jeffrey Parenti)
SANTA ANA -- It may only be the first Saturday of the new year but athletes at the 4th annual LEAP Fest jumps-only showcase came ready to do just that -- put on a show.
The event coordinated by Mater Dei head jumps coach Keinan Briggs that catered to more than 170 athletes representing seven states saw 10 meet records set across both youth and high school age divisions.
Those setting new event standards represented California, Nevada, Texas and Washington and included double-USATF age group national champion Brandon Gorski, CIF-State girls pole vault champion Ashley Callahan, and CIF-State boys high jump runner-up Tyler Cash.
Because the event is an all-comers and not sanctioned by state associations like the CIF, athletes must compete either unattached or for their clubs. For purposes of identification, we will include athlete high schools if available.
Gorski, an eighth-grader from Aliso Viejo (CA), won age group national titles for both long jump and high jump. Saturday at Mater Dei, the tall, lanky youth representing OC Wildcats set a meet standard in the long jump in 19 feet, 2.75 inches, and also won the high jump at 5-7.
Callahan, a junior at Rancho Bernardo (CA) HS in San Diego, representing the North County Pole Vault Club, is tied as the No. 4 returning prep vaulter in the U.S. based on her 13-6 PR from last spring at the Mt. SAC Relays. Callahan, who won the State Meet title with a clearance of 13-4 -- the last of her 13 meets last spring with vaults of at least 13 feet -- won Saturday's event by clearing 12-8.
She said getting out of the 13s and hitting 14 feet is her goal for 2020. Check out our interview with Ashley:
Cash, a junior at Canyon County (CA) Canyon HS, double-PR'd at the State Meet last May despite a nasty
cold. He cleared 6-9 and then went over 6-10 to earn a runner-up medal. He is one of two returning boys in CA with clearances of 6-10. On Saturday, he won the event with a best of 6-6. He took three tries at 6-8 despite a cramp in his hip.
Other meet records were set by ...
- James Akinlosotu, a senior at Federal Way (WA) HS representing Alpha Speed Academy, won the boys triple jump with a two-inch PR of 47-5. He is the No. 5 returner in the event in Washington and that mark would slot him No. 3.
- Eireann Donohoe, a junior at El Paso (TX) Chapin HS representing Team Bliss, won the girls high jump with a 5-5 PR. Donohoe also placed seventh in the triple jump (34-9.75).
- Garrett Brown, a junior at Carlsbad (CA) La Costa Canyon HS representing North County Pole Vault, with a best of 15-7.5. Brown was a State Meet qualifier as a sophomore and is the No. 3 returner in the State with a PR of 16-0.
- Andre James in youth boys with a long jump best of 32-7.
- Amara Thomas in youth girls with a high jump best of 4-9.
- Brady Murphy in youth boys with a pole vault mark of 10-1.
- Kaylee Daniel of Coronado (NV) with a pole vault best of 8-6
Other event winners included ...
- Summer Stevenson, a junior at Temecula (CA) Great Oak HS won the girls triple jump at 38-1. She is the No. 3 returner in the state in that event. She also placed fifth in the long jump (16-9.50).
- Airiana Dargan, a senior at Concord (CA) HS in Northern California, was a finalist in both the long jump and the triple jump at the 2019 State Championships and earned a fourth place medal in the triple jump (39-11.5). On Saturday, she won the girls long jump competition with a best of 17-11 and placed second to Stevenson in the triple (36-9).
- Deandre Smith, from Central Union HS in the San Diego Section, a State Meet qualifier as a junior, won the boys long jump with a best of 21-3.50. He is the No. 11 returner with a best of 22-10.75 for second place at the San Diego Section Final.
- Cassandra Atkins of the Flying AJ's out of Washington, joined Gorski as the only double-event winners, taking youth girls titles in the long jump (16-6.75) and triple jump (35-8.250).
Other standouts included ...
- Sophia Hartwell, a senior at Orange (CA) Lutheran HS representing LEAP Squad and among the top 10 returning horizontal jumpers in CA, placed was third in the girls long jump (17-4.75) and fifth in the triple jump (35-4.50).
- Madison Forbes, also representing LEAP Squad, was youth girls runner-up in both the long jump (15-7) and triple jump (33-7.25).
- Danny Affleck, a senior at Aliso Niguel (CA), and Zack Volpe, a senior at San Marcos (CA), placed behind Brown in the pole vault at 14-7.50. Volpe, who was seventh at State last May, is the No. 6 returning boys vaulter in CA with a PR of 15-9.
- Katerina Adamiec, a senior at Poway (CA) HS, and Melodie Quiroz, a sophomore at Rancho Bernardo (CA) HS, both representing North County Pole Vault, placed behind Callahan at 11-8. Adamiec, who has a PR of 13-0, is one of five returning girls in CA to have vaulted that high. Quiroz improved her PR by eight inches.
- John Gibbs, a senior at Oceanside (CA) HS who was a State Meet finalist in the triple jump, was third here (45-1) behind San Jose (CA) Gunderson junior Liam Kirk (45-11.75) but ahead of Irvine (CA) Northwood junior Miles Carter (44-7.50) and Great Oak sophomore JC Stevenson (43-10). Gibbs is the No. 5 returner in CA (for all conditions), Carter is No. 9, Stevenson is No. 18 and Kirk is No. 23.
- Gibbs placed second in the long jump (20-11.25), senior Victor Trejo of Redlands (CA) Citrus Valley HS was third (20-10.75), and Carter was fourth (20-5.25).
- Brianna Gibson, a junior from High Tech NC in San Diego, was third in the girls triple jump (36-6) and sixth in the long jump (16-4).