Pinder hit a mark of 48 feet, 4 inches in the triple jump on his first attempt at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet Friday at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium.
Pinder, and his supporters in the stands from West High, knew right away that it was his best jump yet.
“It felt like a jump I’ve never jumped before. It gave me a big adrenaline rush,” he said. Going into Friday’s competition he had every intention to establish himself as a leader in the event right away.
“I felt confident. I just wanted to pop a good one my first jump and it just happened like that.”
With that jump the West High junior automatically qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation’s state meet in Clovis on Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4. He soared past the at-large qualifying mark, 46-09.75, and also set a new school record in the event. He beat his previous best mark, 47-03 at last summer’s Junior Olympics, by more than a foot. He opted to pass on his remaining jumps, unless someone else in Friday’s field could beat his mark.
Pinder made one more jump on his last chance after Jack Phouminavong of Bear Creek High jumped 48 feet, 5 ¼ inches. The official ruled Pinder’s last attempt a scratch, which gave Phouminvong the gold medal and Pinder the silver.
Pinder just missed a trip to state last year, finishing fifth with a jump of 45-07.5, behind West teammates Elijah Mitchell and Will Kaigler, and Pinder’s jump on Friday was nearly four feet further than the 44-06 he jumped last week at the Division I meet to place sixth in the division and qualify for Masters.
“Hopefully I can just go off the momentum from here and get a new PR at state.”
Just missing a trip to state was West senior Ta’lor Wilburn, who competed in both the high jump and the triple jump. She finished the high-jump in a five-way tie for eighth place after she cleared the bar at 5-01, but missed at 5-03. It was short of her best jump from the Tri-City Athletic League meet, 5-04.
Thirteen girls made the 5-01 mark, and five of the jumpers who cleared the bar on their first attempts finished in a five-way tie for fourth place. The three who cleared the bar at 5-03 all go to state competition, and first place Lawre’ll Dobbins of Foothill High went on to jump 5-06.
Wilburn then placed sixth in the triple jump with a jump of 36-06, which was short of her mark of 37-00 from last week's Division I meet.
“It’s not that far behind my personal best,” she said. “It would have been nice if I had jumped my personal best again, but I’m proud that I made it this far. A lot of girls can’t say that.”
It was Wilburn’s last meet as a high school athlete, but she plans to continue with jumping and sprinting events next year on the women’s track and field team at Cal State Northridge.
Tracy High runner Blair Hurlock was 10th in the 3200 meters, beating his best time, set last week, by one-third of a second to finish at 9:43.39. Kimball High runner Francesca Loayza placed 20th in the girls 3200 meters, and broke the 12-minute mark with a time of 11:54.40.
Three local athletes competed in the girls discus on Friday. Kimball High sophomore Jaleyah Douglass threw for 103-02 to finish 14th out of 22 girls. West junior Nina Pritchett placed 16th, 99-03, and West senior Analisa Green was 18th, 96-01.
Results from the first day of the Masters meet on Thursday’s include a 12th place finish for Pritchett in the shot put, 34-07.5, and a 14th place finish for West sophomore Megan Grady in the 200 meter dash, with a time of 26.57. Tracy High junior Rondre Skidmore was 20th in the 100 meters, 11.41, and West senior Will Kaigler was 24th in the 110-meter high hurdles, 16.52. Tracy High senior Brooke Butcher competed in the girls pole vault, but did not clear the starting height of 9-03.