Fri, Apr 13 2012 12:29 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Brandon Greene proved he could jump while playing basketball for the Bonita Vista Barons. But letting three-point bombs fly, scoring crowd-pleasing slam-dunks or grabbing rebounds is something quite different from what has gained him perhaps the most notoriety during his athletic career at Bonita Vista High School.
The high jump in track and field is an entirely different animal, requiring both vertical and horizontal expertise.
“The first thing you’ve got to get used to is looking back as you jump,” he said.
Of course, there was getting over the initial fear of landing. Thankfully, the event uses crash pads.
Greene high-jumped six feet, five inches last season to lead the Metro Conference. The height is the automatic entry mark for the state meet.
However, Greene failed to match that season-best in last May’s San Diego Section finals. Instead, his 6-3 mark was good for a tie for fourth place in the Division I flight and sixth overall among section jumpers.
The BVHS senior has once again set the pace this year with a section-best 6-8 mark turned in at March’s Mt. Carmel Sundevil Invitational. Interestingly, the Metro Conference has posted the top two marks so far this season in the event. Sweetwater’s Spencer Curtis, the reigning South Bay League champion, has cleared 6-4 this spring to rank No. 2 in the section.
Greene has set a goal of clearing seven feet before this season is over.
“It’s reachable,” he said.
In order to accomplish that goal, the Baron jumper is doing a lot of stretching exercises, lifting weights and working on his speed work while simultaneously competing in both the long and triple jumps.
Mt. Carmel’s Brandon Ford turned in the top mark last year in the section at 7-0, followed by Serra’s Deante Kemper at 6-10.
Ford (Division I) and Kemper (Division II) both won respective division titles at 6-9.
Kemper and Ford finished third and fourth, respectively, at the state meet, both with jumps of 6-7.
Greene was second at last year’s Mesa League finals to Otay Ranch’s J’Vion Johnson.
“It’s exciting right now to be No. 1 (in the section),” Greene admitted. “It’s pressure. It’s motivation.”
Curtis cleared 6-6 in a preseason meet, boosting his confidence for a potential trip to the state meet in Clovis in June.
He won the 2011 South Bay League high jump title at 6-0 and the pole vault title at 11-0.
Curtis has cleared 6-4 in the high jump and 12-4 in the pole vault this season.
“Since I’ve cleared 6-6 in competition already, I know I can make the standard for the state meet,” he said. “It’s just about refining my technique and staying consistent.”
And performing when it matters most.
Like BV’s Greene, Curtis is also competing in the long and triple jumps this season.
The workout combination appears to be reaping dividends. Greene (6-4) and Curtis (6-2) finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump at the Mt. Miguel Elite Invitational on March 31.
Curtis finished third in both the pole vault (11-6) and triple jump (41-0.5) to showcase his multi-event talent.
Both jumpers hope the best is still ahead of them this season.
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