Clovis (CS) senior Sydnie Vanek is the returning State Meet champion in the girls long jump and the state's current wind-legal leader heading into this weekend's CIF-State Track and Field Championships. Vanek is one of two returning champions in the jumps event group.
The top 12 performances in each discipline at Friday's prelims will advance to Saturday's championships. If necessary, ties will be broken on Friday so that only 12 athletes advance in each event.
Here's a closer look at the boys and girls jumps.
State Meet record - 7-03.25, Lee Balkin (Glendale/SS) 1979
Mater Dei (SS) sophomore Brandon Gorski cleared his state-best 6-09 at Southern Section Masters after dropping the long jump to focus here.
De La Salle (NC) senior Chukwunonso Udeh placed fourth here a year ago and is the only returner from the 2022 finals. Mission Bay (SD) junior Brandon Cheeks II, a finalist last year in both the long and triple jumps as a sophomore, returns to State but only in the high jump following his 6-05 clearance at SDS qualifying last Saturday. A dozen of the 28 qualifiers come in at 6-05 with only five others going higher in qualifying: Birmingham (LA) junior Deshawn Banks at 6-06, Moorpark (SS) senior Victor Ezike, Cypress (SS) senior Alan Vuong, and Golden Valley (SJ) senior Delbert Davis at 6-07.
State Meet record - 26-04.75, James Stallworth (Tulare Union/CS) 1989
Lodi senior Maceo McDowell placed sixth here last year with a best of 23-04.75 (3.8). He comes in with a qualifying mark of 22-11 while Kern Valley (CS) senior Daimon Dedmon and Liberty-Bakersfield senior Christian Edwards, each hit the sand at 24-plus at the Buchanan HS pit at Saturday's CS Masters.
De La Salle (NC) senior Chukwunonso Udeh, Riordan (CC) senior Zachary Jones, Valhalla (SD) senior AJ Cornthwaite, Valley Christian (CC) sophomore Jonathan Craft, South Bakersifled (CS) senior Shane Carr, Acalanes (NC) junior Trevor Rogers, and Los Altos (CC) senior Zachary Fagin all hit 23-feet or father in qualifying.
State Meet record - 52-05.75, Marcus Hooks (Lakewood/SS) 1986
South Bakersfield senior Shane Carr comes in as the favorite based on his performance over the past couple weeks and a qualifying mark a full foot farther than the next best jumper.
Bullard (CS) senior Kyle Hughes, Liberty (NC) senior Frankie Cruz Buchanan (CS) senior Josh Dunu, Lincoln-Stockton senior Ethan Fong each qualified with marks of 47 feet or better.
State Meet record - 6-02.00, Latrese Johnson (Clovis/CS) 1985
Los Gatos (CC) senior Hannah Slover is one of two athletes in this article back to defend 2022 State Meet titles. It wasn't an easy road for Slover, a UC Santa Barbara volleyball recruit whose spring was slowed by an ankle injury. But she found a way back by hitting the 5-05 at-large qualifying mark at Central Coast Section Championships to join the field of 31 who will compete in Friday prelims with an eye on one of the 12 spots into the Saturday finals.
Scripps Ranch (SD) senior Lizzie Tarczy comes in as the CA leader after her 5-09 clearance at SDS Finals. Tarczy was fourth here last year. Castaic (SS) junior Meagan Humphries, third here last year, has twice cleared 5-8 this spring after clearing 5-10.25 at CA Winter Championships in early February. She's also trying to qualifying in both of the other two jumps in addition to the 200m dash. The other returner is Calabasas (SS) junior Amia Witt. She was fifth here last year with a best of 5-07. Others with medal prospects in the field include Orange Vista (SS) senior Kailah McKenzie, who went 5-09 in mid-April, is one of the 14 who qualified with the at-large standard. She's also competing in the long jump and 100m hurdles. Ventura (SS) junior Valentina Fakrogha, Whitney (SJ) senior Ashanti Elie, Maria Carrillo (NC) senior Alexis Hunt, and Notre Dame-Belmont (CC) senior Melanie Castelli all have clearances this spring of 5-08.
State Meet record - 22-00.50 Marion Jones (Thousand Oaks/SS) 1993
Five of last year's top-nine placers return here led by returning champion Sydnie Vanek (Clovis/CS). Vanek, a volleyball recruit to the University of Arizona, has been a consistent 20-foot jumper all spring. But there are a handful of challenger to Vanek's crown. King (SS) senior Alyssa Hope, a USC recruit, was second last year. Orange Vista (SS) senior Kailah McKenzie, a UC Irvine recruit, was eighth last year and is the CA all-condition state leader. Vista Murrieta (SS) junior Alyssa Alumbres, sixth here last year, and Castaic's Humphries, also could challenge. Others to watch include St. Ignatius (CC) freshman Ellie McCuskey-Hay, United Christian Academy (SS) senior Tamara Aimufia, and Wilson-Long Beach sophomore Loren Webster, all with 18-9-plus credentials.
State Meet record - 44-00.50, Juliana Yendork (Walnut/SS) 1991
Mission Viejo (SS) senior Jada Gatlin, a USC recruit, had the top qualifying jump out of prelims last year but was unable to record a legal jump in the finals. She's back with a season best of 40-08 (nwi) and only two returners in the field. Vista Murrieta's Alyssa Alumbres, sixth here last year, has a best of 39-00, and whitney (SJ) junior Juliana Roberson, eighth in last year's State final, has a season best of 38-02.50 (1.8). Returning champion Alyssa Hope didn't make it out of league qualifying but two other 40-foot-plus jumpers in Elsinore (SS) senior Dajeauna Williams, and Upland (SS) senior Simone Smith are in the field. Also, United Christian Academy (SS) senior Tamara Aimufia went 39-11.75 (nwi) at Division finals, and Modesto (SJ) senior Chidiebere Agunanne has gone 38-09.25.
Jeffrey Parenti is the California State Editor for MileSplit
Photos by DeAnna Turner, Josh Barber, Phil Grooms, and Raymond Tran