CIF-STATE MEET A Closer Look At the Jumps


* * *


* * *

Last in a series of event-group previews

* * *

State Meet Record: 26-04.75 (James Stallworth, Tulare Union (CS), 1989)

The long jump is truly one of the toughest events to predict unless there is just one jumper that is just so much better than the field. I would say that going into the state final, multiple jumpers will have dreams of getting on the top step of the podium and forever being known as a CA state champion.

The best jump this past weekend belonged to Lodi (SJ) junior, Maceo McDowell. He jumped 23-10 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section. St. John's Bosco (SS) senior Camryn O'Bannon only needed one attempt to capture the always tough SS Masters Meet.  With his first attempt at 23-9.75 being enough to automatically qualify, he comes in with a wind-legal best of 24-4 this season.  The best wind-legal jump in the state this year belongs to Great Oak (SS) senior JC Stevenson who jumped 24-09.5 to win the Arcadia Invitational.  

Meanwhile, Golden Valley (SS) senior Elijha Ellis (pictured above) has been as consistent as any this spring, as two weeks ago, he measured out his lifetime best of 24-2.5 in capturing the CIF-SS Division 2 title.  All too familiar with the Buchanan runways, Clovis (CS) senior Nathan Johnson could play a huge role in the team scoring battle while he owns a wind-aided 24-1.5 effort.  

State Meet Record: 52-05.75 (Marcus Hooks, Lakewood (SS), 1986)

The best three triple jumpers in California have all jumped over 48 feet this season but based on this past week, only one of them will be coming in as the favorite to win the State title.

Golden Valley (SS) senior Elijha Ellis won the SS Masters meet with a jump of 48-01.50 after capturing the CIF-SS Division 2 title in a lifetime best of 48-3.5 performance the week prior.  He outdistanced St. John Bosco (SS) senior Camryn O'Bannon, who mustered 46-02.25 to finish in second place. The third jumper, Great Oak (SS)  senior JC Stevenson, (pictured above) finished in fourth place at the SS Masters meet but had an undefeated season going into last weekend, including wins at Arcadia and Mt. SAC.

Also from the Southern Section, Elsinore (SS) senior Elijah Yoshinaga placed third at the CIF-SS Masters Meet (45-10.25w) and checks in with a wind-legal seasonal best of 47-5.75 from the Arcadia Invite.  Coming in hot, South Bakersfield (CS) junior Shane Carr captured the Central Section Masters Meet last week a 46-8 lifetime best with Arroyo Grande (CS) senior Williams Dawes placing right him at 46-5.75.  

State Meet Record: 7-03.25 (Lee Balkin, Glendale (SS), 1979)

The high jump presents itself as another wide-open event with several athletes in contention for a State title.  With no clear-cut favorite, only two boys have cleared 6-9 this spring while the group of those clearing 6-8 doubled just last weekend alone!

Five jumpers cleared 6-8 at their respective section finals, including San Diego Section champion Brandon Cheeks II from Mission Bay, Justin Cardoza of East Lake (SD), Owen Pennington of Riverside Poly (SS), and Cole Hoegl of Crossroads (SS). The fifth member deserves his own mention as Mater Dei (SS) freshman Brandon Gorski (pictured) jumped 6-8 to become the only freshman in the nation to clear that height.  

Meanwhile, not mentioned above are the duo to clear 6-9 this spring.  The UC Berkeley-bound senior, Seth Johnson of Cajon (SS), will be juggling four events this weekend.  He cleared 6-9 back in a dual meet in March while Steele Canyon (SD) senior Leon Gillis match the standard in mid-April.  Another one to watch for is Davis (SJ) senior Ray Oldham, who won the Sac-Joaquin Masters with a 6-7.5 performance last week.  

State Meet Record: 22-00.50 (Marion Jones, Thousand Oaks (SS), 1993)

The 20-foot benchmark has always been the standard that separates the top female long jumpers from the rest of the field. In that case, one jumper surpassed the 20-foot mark at her section final and that is senior Kylee Davis (pictured above) of Golden Valley (SS). Her mark of 20-4.5 was the best mark this past weekend as well as the best mark this season. She has been the most consistent jumper in the state including a victory at the Arcadia Invitational, while also earning the CIF-SS Division 2 title two weeks ago with a 19-11.5 performance, jumping into a slight wind.   

Her main competition should come from Clovis (CS) junior Sydnie Vanek who is undefeated in the event this season with a best of 19-07.75. Mission Viejo (SS) junior Emily Psarras, catapulted her way into the conversation, by finishing in second place at the SS Masters Meet behind Davis by recording a huge season-best of 19-07.75.

No stranger to success in these pits, Upland (SS) senior Caelyn Harris is, technically, the defending California State Meet champion. She won this event as a freshman in 2019 when she jumped 20-8.50. Injuries have slowed her in the years since, but in 2022, the Alabama recruit has a best of 19-10w from Mt. SAC.

Riverside King (SS) junior Alyssa Hope has been solid, taking home the CIF-SS Division 1 title two weeks ago with a wind-legal 19-8.25 effort, while Orange Vista (SS) junior Kailah McKenzie, Long Beach Poly (SS) senior Lauren Reed, and Vista Murrieta (SS) sophomore Alyssa Alumbres all come in, contending for a spot on the medals stand.  

State Meet Record: 44-00.50 (Juliana Yendork, Walnut (SS), 1991)

The two best triple jumpers in the state have been Martin Luther King (SS) junior Alyssa Hope (pictured above) and Mission Viejo (SS) junior Jada Gatlin. They have competed against each other in six different competitions, with Hope besting Gatlin in the first five meetings. Finally, at this past Saturday's SS Masters meet, Gatlin edged out Hope to win the section triple jump title with a mark of 40-02.5. Hope placed second with a mark of 39-10.25 but for 2022, owns the top mark under all conditions at 41-3.  

Glendora (SS) senior Kennedy Johnson placed second to Gatlin two weeks at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals with a lifetime best of 39-10.25w.  Los Alamitos (SS) senior Mackenzie Kirk has been consistent and shut it down once she hit her 39-4w to automatically qualify a week ago.  Continuing to improve, Vista Murrieta (SS) sophomore Alyssa Alumbres placed third two weeks ago at the CIF-SS Division 1 final (39-6) as she follows in the footsteps of her brother who placed fifth in this event in 2014 and 2015. 

Meanwhile, Long Beach Poly (SS) senior Lauren Reed has been stellar in 2022 with a wind-legal best of 39-7.5 while Mayfair (SS) senior Chelsea Aninyei bounded out a 39-6.5 effort two weeks to place third at the CIF-SS Division 2 finals.  

State Meet Record: 6-02.00 (Latrese Johnson, Clovis (CS), 1985)

If you look back to every high jump competition dating back to 1974, the winning jumper cleared at least 5-08. With that in mind, here are the leading contenders going into this Friday's trials. The two best jumpers this past weekend were Aptos (CC) senior Elizabeth Churchill and Golden Valley (SS) sophomore Meagan Humphries. They both cleared 5-09, which was a season-best for both.

The overall best jump in the state belongs to Whitney (SJ) junior Ashanti Elie, who levitated up over the 5-10 bar at a mid-season dual meet. Los Gatos (CC) junior Hannah Slover finished in second place at the CCS meet behind Churchill and has a season-best of 5-08. Senior Zharia Taylor of Long Beach Poly (SS) has also jumped 5-9 this year and will be in the field. Two more 5-8 jumpers are Golden Valley (SS) senior Kylee Davis and Long Beach Poly (SS) freshman Jillene Wetteland.  

This event could present some great insight into the team title battle with Golden Valley and Long Beach Poly qualifying two girls each!

Albert Caruana is a Track and Field coach in Northern CA and a frequent contributor to MileSplitCA.

Mark Gardner and Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this report.

Photos by Raul Ebio, Daniel Hernandez, Jeffrey Parenti, and Raymond Tran.