High Jumpers Advance to State Meet

Islander high jump coach, Kerry Elders, knew he had a blue chipper last year when freshman Jamie Klages jumped 5' in her first dual meet. She probably could have advanced to the state meet as a freshman but her duties as goalie on her ODP soccer team prevented her from competing at the CIF finals. Going into the CIF prelims this year she was part of a group of ten girls at 5-2 who were all behind one girl at 5-5, two at 5-4 and two at 5-3. However, she had recently had two close misses at 5-4 in attempts at the school record and seemed ready to step up a notch. After the CIF Prelims, the girls' high jump field was loaded with 14 girls at 5 feet or better, all vying for one of the top 3 spots that progress to the State Meet. Sophomore Adam Munns came out for track this year because he wanted to compete in another sport, and his twin brother was having success as a budding mid-distance runner. Instead of running, however, he tried the high jump. When coach Elders had him over 5-10 after only a day or two of practice it was evident that Jamie might not be our only blue chip high jumper. Adam was soon jumping over 6 feet in dual meets and dominated the field at the frosh/soph championship with a leap of 6-3. Like Jamie, he easily won the league high jump title to advance to the CIF prelims and the finals in the "A" heat, the one that qualifies the top 3 to state. On paper it appeared that his 6-3 would be no match for four other jumpers at 6-5 or better and another at 6-4. Coach Elders, however, has seen a lot of high jumping in his career as both a competitor and coach. He was a 7 foot high jumper in high school and would have won the California State championships had he not had to settle for 2nd against Dwight Stones. He's still in contact with Stones who offered technical advice this season. In a big meet there's a lot of strategy and psychology at play; the burden of elimination after three misses in a row can be demoralizing if you're not mentally prepared. The girls high jump was one of the first events of the day and after everyone had their 3 tries at 5 feet the 14 girl field was narrowed to 9 and included three of the 5 girls with better PR's than Jamie. The bar was raised to 5-2 which reduced the field to 4, Krystal Shields from Poway (PR of 5-5), Lindsay Whetstine from Mt. Carmel (PR of 5-4), Jennifer Black from Southwest (PR of 5-3) and Jamie (PR of 5-2 this year). All but Black cleared 5-3 which determined who advanced to state. Jamie and Shields went out at 5-4 and Whetstine cleared 5-5 to win the event. Jamie was 2nd based on fewer misses with Shields 3rd. The boys' high jump began at 3pm with 18 jumpers, including all the big guns mentioned above in the field. After 6 feet the field was down to 9. Five made the cut at 6-2 and 6-3 narrowed the field to four. Still remaining were Desmond Burt from Serra, Raul Hernandez from Brawley (both with PR's of 6-6), Niklas Daniel from University City (previous PR of 6-2) and Adam who had just matched his PR of 6-3). Daniel went out at 6-4, the rest made it to state. All missed at 6-5 but based on fewer misses Burt was first, Adam second and Hernandez 3rd. The girls team placed 5th in D-2 team competition and if they had run the 4x400 instead of electing to attend pre-prom activities instead, they would have placed 3rd. Nila Heurtelou placed 6th in the 100 (12.89 seconds) and 4th in the 200 (26.03). Beth Wittry went under 60 seconds in the 400 for the first time while placing 2nd in 59.83. Katherine Wingert placed 4th in the 800 with 2:22.89. Jamie Klages picked-up the 5th place medal in the 100 hurdles with 16.97. In the rest of the boys events, David Hutchison placed 6th at 12 feet in the pole vault and Reid McLean long jumped 20 feet for 5th place.

At the state meet Adam was in pretty deep with one of the best state fields in a long time. The starting height was 6-4. On his first jump he appeared to be over but hit the bar on the way down. On his second jump he ran by the bar but the one of the officials ruled that part of his body (hand or foot, perhaps) broke the plane of the bar and that jump was a scratch. He missed his final jump. The starting height for girls was 5-2 which Jamie cleared on her 3rd attempt. The bar was raised to 5-4 at which height she went out. Just getting to the state meet as sophs was a great accomplishment for both and we expect to see great things from these two over the next 2 years.