High Jumpers Soar at Mt. Carmel Invite 26 March
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High jump Coach Kerry Elders was spread pretty thin at the Sun Devil Invitational Saturday, and it’s his own fault. Elders isn’t satisfied to just have one of the best female high jumpers in the county in Jamie Klages, he has to have one of the best male high jumpers as well in Adam Munns. Having two jumpers in the same competition is normally not a problem, but both the seeded high jumps for the men and women started at the same time, at opposite ends of Mt. Carmel High School’s new track facility.

Earlier in the day, Elders had watched another Islander jumper, sophomore Sarah Player, clear 5 feet to take second place in the ‘B’ flight. Because there were twice as many entrants in the girls high jump, Sarah camped out behind the end zone where the girls were jumping, with a 2-way radio to keep Elders and me updated on the event’s progress, while we watched the boys competition from the stands.

The boys high jump is usually competitive than the girls competition, usually to a height of around 6-feet, 2-inches. After this height, Munns and La Jolla’s Nathon Gwozdz usually take over and go head-to-head. The girls usually spend a lot of time eliminating one another at the lower heights before Klages and Mt. Carmel’s Lindsey Whetstine are all who remain at around 5’4."

These four jumpers are the class of the CIF San Diego Section this year, with the third spot for both boys and girls open for anyone at this point in the season. For the boys, it just might be Coronado’s Reid McLean, another one of Elder’s high fliers, whose personal best jump of 6’3" would have placed him third at the two big San Diego invitationals this year, the Bronco and the Mt. Carmel. McLean, who was last year’s section 300 meter hurdles champion, has been out of action since he sprained his ankle during the basketball season. He has recovered now and should be ready for the Islanders next meet.

The boys’ high jump went as expected with only Gwozdz and Munns surviving past 6’2." After both cleared the bar at 6’6", the bar was placed at 6’8 ½" in an attempt to set the meet record. Munns was close on his second jump, while Gwozdz cleared his jump.

By the time the girls filed was down to Klages and Whetstine at 5’4", we joined Player at the girls’ competition. Both girls cleared 5’6" and the bar was set to 5’8," higher than either competitor had ever jumped. Whetstine jumping first was very close on her second attempt. Klages cleared 5’8" on her second try to win the event.

Player, elevated to Assistant Coach status at this point, had the sixth best jump of the day at 5’0", along with six other girls who cleared the same height. Klages’ jump of 5’8" is one of the best marks in the state this year; the best for a San Diego Section athlete since 1988; and places her in a sixth place tie on San Diego’s All-Time list.

Friday, CHS distance ace Jake Ruzevick, who will be running for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology track team next year, hosted a pasta dinner along with his parents Jim and Bette Ruzevick, for MIT team at his house. The Engineers Track Team was in town to compete at UCSD Saturday, and rumor has it there was no food left in the house. The next day at Mt. Carmel, Jake set a personal best standard in the 1,600-meters, placing fourth in 4:21.58. He was in contention all the way and only 2 seconds back from the winner in a close, fast finish.

Our farm team, also known as the Coronado Middle School Track Team, is doing very well this season. There have been two league meets and the Pelicans were overall winners in both events. Their website is linked to the CHS Track website at Islandertrack.com, where you can see full results for both meets.

Without question, the most outstanding performer has been 7th grader Sallie Privett. In the second meet she ran 1,600 meters (10 meters short of a mile) in 5:16.9. If she was in high school, this time would put her among the top runners in San Diego.